‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman confirmed Marvel wants a ‘best picture’ Oscar, not just one for ‘popular film’

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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

  • “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the movie will campaign for best picture at the Oscars, not the new “popular film” category.
  • “I dare any movie to try to compare to the [level of] difficulty of this one,” he told THR.
  • The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Marvel Studios will launch a serious Oscar campaign for the first time to get “Black Panther” nominated, and that Disney has hired a veteran Oscars strategist.

There’s no denying that Marvel’s “Black Panther” is a worldwide phenomenon, but when it comes to the Oscars, Marvel wants the top prize – best picture – over a “popular film” nomination.

Star Chadwick Boseman, who plays the title character in the movie, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast that the movie will campaign for best picture rather than the new “achievement in popular film” category that will be introduced at the 2019 Oscars.

“We don’t know what it [the new prize] is, so I don’t know whether to be happy about it or not,” Boseman told THR. “What I can say is that there’s no campaign [that we are mounting] for popular film; like, if there’s a campaign, it’s for best picture, and that’s all there is to it.”

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Marvel Studios is preparing to launch a serious Oscar campaign for the first time to get “Black Panther” a best picture nomination. According to the Times, Disney hired veteran Oscars strategist Cynthia Swartz to lead a best-picture campaign backed by significant funding from Marvel.

“A good movie is a good movie, and clearly it doesn’t matter how much money a movie makes in order for it to be ‘a good movie’ [in the minds of Academy members] because if [it did], the movies that get nominated and win [which have tended in recent years to not be blockbusters] wouldn’t get nominated,” Boseman continued. “And if it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter on both sides. For my money, the only thing that matters is the level of difficulty.”

Boseman added that what “Black Panther” did – creating its own world, culture, politics, and more – was “very difficult.”

“I dare any movie to try to compare to the [level of] difficulty of this one,” he said. “And the fact that so many people liked it – if you just say it’s [merely] popular, that’s elitist.”

“Black Panther” grossed over $700 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide, and has a 97% critic score on review-aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.