Avengers: Endgame may have smashed every box office record in the book but surely Marvel and Disney aren’t going to settle for that. The studios seem intent on pushing Endgame as a strong, prospective contender at the Academy Awards this year. And I don’t mean in just the traditional technical categories of Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design or Best Art Design.
Apparently, Disney and Marvel are aiming for the big awards, which include either a Best Picture Oscar Nomination for Avengers: Endgame or a Best (Supporting) Actor Nomination for Robert Downey Jr. To that end, the Mouse House has begun arranging screenings for Endgame for different member committees that will eventually be involved in the Oscar voting. Screenings are scheduled for September 29 as well as October 1, 14 and 24 and will be followed with a Q&A with the directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
Back in May, around the time of its release, word got out that Marvel & Disney could be vying for a potential Oscar push for the movie. While the studios didn’t confirm this back then (nor will they now), the timing of these screenings strongly suggest an Avengers 4 Oscar campaign. That the screenings have popped up on Disney’s “Studio Awards” website is as close to an acknowledgment as we’ll get at this time. Don’t be too surprised if #Avengers4Oscar begins trending in the lead-up to the Academy Awards.
Blockbusters of this scale have traditionally had little to no chance at the prestigious awards ceremony, though there have been exceptions. Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King took home a record 11 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, the first time a fantasy film of that scale won the award. About 7 years later, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight came close to being nominated, before missing out due to the lack of Best Picture nominee entries, leading the Academy to expand the maximum number from 5 to 10.
More recently, Marvel Studios had Black Panther become the first superhero film in history to secure a Best Picture nomination at Oscars 2019. Logan was also nominated for a best adapted screenplay. These movies have proven that the Academy isn’t entirely exempt from considering big-budget movies for Oscars. And given how Endgame had a lot more emotional stakes over long-drawn out battle sequences, Disney and Marvel are inclined to believe it has a shot at getting a nod, if not a win.
As for Downey Jr., his performance touched a chord with audiences all over, thanks largely to his character’s fate, and the 10-year arc he fulfilled. Consequently, Marvel and Disney must be hoping to capitalize on some of that sentiment and would likely factor it into their marketing when pitching Downey Jr. as a prospective nominee. Whether he gets nominated for the lead actor or supporting role is up for debate though my money’s on the latter, if at all the nom comes.
As if the box-office run of Endgame wasn’t interesting by itself, the lead-up to the Oscars should be particularly interesting to follow. I’ll be on to any Endgame related news in regards to the Academy Awards and keep you posted.