In case there was any doubt, 20th Century Fox is serious about taking home Oscar gold this year.
According to Deadline, screeners for Fox’s superhero film Logan arrived in voters’ mailboxes from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences yesterday, earlier than any other film from any other studio this year. It’s a bold move, and signals a lot of confidence in the strength of the film from the studio.
But then, Logan is certainly a strong awards contender, perhaps stronger than any other superhero film that has ever come before. Holding at 93 percent Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was universally praised by critics and audiences, as it told an especially affecting, deeply emotional story that said goodbye to fan-favorite X-Men.
No superhero film has ever won an Oscar in the screenwriting or directing categories, much less Best Picture. Superhero films tend to be nominated in technical fields like visual effects or sound editing, or design fields like makeup and art direction. Only one superhero film has ever taken home an Oscar in an acting field—and that was Heath Ledger’s posthumous Best Supporting Actor win for The Dark Knight.
And while this history does make Logan a bit of an underdog in the awards race, remember that that disadvantage is offset by the tremendous amount of money at its disposal. Unlike the smaller, artsier dramas that tend to dominate the awards circuit, Logan made over $600 million at the box office this year. If they want to flood awards voters with screeners, they certainly have the budget to do it.
Deadline reports that in years past, films like Miles Ahead and Maggie’s Plan were the first to send out screeners, and they did so at the end of August (weeks earlier than Logan). Deadline also points out that those films did not win any Oscars that year.
Read our Logan review here and find out where it’s ranked on our list of the year’s best films (so far) here.