In BLACK PANTHER, THE DARK KNIGHT Finally Gets Its Oscar Nomination by Eric Holzmann


DISCLAIMER: Op-eds by BOF contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BOF of its editor-in-chief…unless they do. – Bill “Jett” Ramey

Before everyone starts yelling let me be clear.

I know the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn’t nominate movies outside of their respective years, but when I heard that Black Panther was nominated for Best Picture my first thought was this…

THANK YOU, The Dark Knight.

Back in 2009, there was a big outcry after Christopher Nolan’s second installment in The Dark Knight Trilogy did not receive a nomination for Best Picture.

At the time, the Academy nominated only 5 movies for the Best Picture award and left out The Dark Knight in favor of Stephen Daldry’s The Reader.  This was shocking since the movie received a lukewarm reception from audiences and critics while The Dark Knight was one of the best reviewed and the highest grossing film of 2008.

The controversy surrounding this snub forced the Academy to expand the Best Picture category from 5 nominations to 10.  However, even with this adjustment, we still had not had a comic book movie nominated for Best Picture since the change was made.

Until now.

We can argue the merits of Black Panther and whether or not it deserves to be the first comic book movie nominated for Best Picture, but that would be missing the point.

Comic book movies have historically been viewed as big budget, popcorn flicks.  Yes, people love them, but artistically they lack any real substance or depth.

That all changed after The Dark Knight came out.

Studios began to believe that not only do these movies make money, but they also can be deep and thought provoking art films.  Since then movies like Logan, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Black Panther, and others have taken the example set by The Dark Knight and created similar films that focus more on storytelling and character development and less on action and spectacle.

So we all should be happy and congratulate Ryan Coogler, Marvel Studios, and the entire cast and crew of Black Panther for garnering the first Best Picture nomination for the comic book genre. BUT…

It all started 10 years ago when The Dark Knight was a movie the Oscars deserved, but not the one it needed.

Today, The Dark Knight gets its due. – Eric Holzmann