Although an Oscar isn't the deciding factor in determining a great movie, recognition from the Academy is a glittering, ever-lasting seal of approval from the most illustrious award ceremony in the industry, with a Best Picture nomination the cream of the motion picture crop.
However, superhero films have always been left in the wilderness, with those involved in comic book adaptations rarely receiving recognition, leaving the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Hugh Jackman waiting on the sidelines, ready to swap iron suits, spandex and titanium claws for tuxedos, champagne and golden statues.
Despite raking in billions in box office takings, no comic book movie has been nominated for Best Picture. In fact, aside from Heath Ledger's posthumous award for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), superhero films have been overlooked for the rest of the top awards: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress.
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Can 'Logan' Win The Best Picture Oscar?
That could be set to change, at least according to #RyanReynolds. The actor believes that #HughJackman's final portrayal of Wolverine in #Logan could finally bring a Best Picture win. In an interview with Variety, he said:
"'Logan' looks like a movie that might break that glass ceiling. I know first-hand that it’s amazing. I’ve seen some of it. It’s mind-blowing. It relies a lot on character."
In many ways, if anyone is going to bring Academy Award glory to the superhero realm, it should be Jackman. The actor has portrayed the mutant for 17 years, first appearing in Bryan Singer's X-Men in 2000. Logan is unlike his previous portrayals of the character, helped largely by Jackman taking a pay-cut to ensure the film was given an R-rating.
That itself lifts some of the shackles that could restrain a character who was created as the ultimate weapon, freeing him to carry out the kind of brutal carnage fit for an adult rating. The narrative of Logan is also apt for such brutality — set in 2024, the film focuses a post-apocalyptic future where mutants are almost extinct.
It's Wolverine, But Not As You Know Him
As Reynolds states, though, this is as much an in-depth look at the psyche of a superhero as his powers diminish as it is all-out superhero spectacle. Taking inspiration from Marvel's Old Man Logan story arc, #Wolverine's abilities are vastly diminished; his regenerative capability isn't the force it once was, leaving him riddled with scars and in chronic pain.
This means Jackman's final outing won't be pretty. The character's onscreen presence — at least as we know him now — is set to come to an end in a dark, redemption-fuelled manner. From the trailer alone, the disenchanted and ageing Wolverine looks set to bow out with all claws blazing.
Add in an overprotective paternal factor with the introduction of the young girl Laura (also known as the mutant X-23) and the need to care for a sickly Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), and the film looks set to contain the right mix for the Academy, especially in tone and character development. As a result, it's not a stretch to imagine Jackman could put himself in contention for a Best Actor nomination.
'Deadpool' May Break The Record First
But what are the chances of Logan winning Best Picture? Back in 2009, The Dark Knight was surrounded with Oscar buzz in the build-up, and looked to be in contention for a Best Picture win. Eventually, It wasn't even nominated, causing controversy at the time. Logan does have an edge now the number of nominations has been doubled from five to 10 — a move made following Batman's snub.
Ultimately, before the film's release, any speculation is futile. However, if Logan does find itself being nominated, maybe it won't actually be the first superhero film to reach those lofty heights. Reynolds himself featured in 2016's surprise hit, #Deadpool. Could the Merc with a Mouth shock the industry for a second time by picking up a Best Picture nomination?
Can Logan or Deadpool pick up a Best Picture nomination?