Is ‘Wonder Woman’ Going to Be an Oscar Contender?

Reports are coming in that Warner Bros. is planning a major Academy Awards campaign for the popular DC superhero film.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Wonder Woman saved the world and she saved the summer box office. Accolades were earned, money was made in abundance, audiences were genuinely inspired. If that doesn’t warrant a serious Oscar campaign, what does?

Variety reports that Warner Bros. is seriously considering a major Oscar campaign for Wonder Woman, focusing on the Best Picture and Best Director categories. Wonder Woman could also conceivably earn nominations in various technical categories, and a nomination for Best Actress for Gal Gadot might not be out of the question either.

Of course, it’s an uphill battle. Action movie blockbusters have been nominated for Best Picture in the past – including Raiders of the Lost ArkThe Fugitive and Avatar – but they very rarely win, and no superhero movie has ever been nominated in the Best Picture category. And sadly, only four female filmmakers have ever been nominated for Best Director – Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) – and Kathryn Bigelow is the only one of those directors to actually win the award.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Also: Why Did It Take 75 Years to Make a Wonder Woman Movie?

Warner Bros. has launched similar campaigns in the past for its tentpole movies, including Tim Burton’s original Batman, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark KnightHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II and Mad Max: Fury Road. So far their efforts to break into the top categories were mostly unsuccessful, Mad Max: Fury Road broke into the Best Picture and Best Director categories, and Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Dark Knight. (And the studio’s bigger films have also won Oscars in the technical categories.)

But it’s important to remember that times have changed for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The membership has recently expanded, becoming more diverse than ever before. Last year’s surprise Best Picture win for Moonlight may hint at a less predictable future at the Oscars. Filmmakers with different tastes and sensibilities have more of a voice, and many of those people appreciated the exceptional quality and craft of Wonder Woman, which has made a significant impact on the cinematic landscape.

Could Wonder Woman get nominated for Best Picture and Best Director? Absolutely. At this point it would be folly to underestimate either Wonder Woman or Patty Jenkins in any way whatsoever. Could it actually “win” is a more complicated question, and one that will only be answered closer to the end of the year, when we get a better sense of who the other contenders might be.

 

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Top Photo: Warner Bros.

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.