When Marvel’s Black Panther debuted in Feb. 2018, nearly everyone knew it was going to make a difference. Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa/Black Panther, lead a predominantly black cast, for a film which became the first standalone for a black Marvel superhero. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe is inarguably the most successful of all superhero franchises, this representation was amazing to see. And Black Panther has not been unseen by critics.
The film made headlines when it became the first superhero film to be nominated for a Golden Globe for their Best Picture - Drama category, and although it ultimately lost to Bohemian Rhapsody, the honor of even being taken so seriously to be nominated is great on its own. And now, Black Panther has gone on to be recognized for something even more prestigious. As announced today, the film is nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
#BlackPanther is the first comic book movie to earn a Best Picture #Oscars nomination. It also earned nominations for best costume design, production design, sound editing, sound mixing, original score and original song https://t.co/RxIcjeSH2F— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 22, 2019
As you could guess, Black Panther is now the first superhero film to ever be nominated for this impressive award. The closest a movie in this genre has ever gotten was probably Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), as the DC film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, with the late Heath Ledger, who famously played the Joker, winning a posthumous award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.
The Oscar nomination for Black Panther is not only a testament to the hard work put in by the whole cast and crew, but also the importance of representation in mainstream films. It’s understandable that director Ryan Coogler has already signed on the write and direct the sequel.
This article also appears on Mental Floss.