Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige reacts to the news that ‘Black Panther’ received seven Academy Award nominations including a nod for Best Picture…
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige knew there was something special happening on the set of ‘Black Panther’ from the very first days production kicked off on the movie.
It was a pivotal moment for the studio after Black Panther was the first African-American superhero in comic books after first being introduced in 1966 by creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. To tell this story the right way, Marvel had to seek out a filmmaker who had a vision for ‘Black Panther’ because this movie wasn’t going to be based in New York or another sprawling metropolis in the United States.
Instead, ‘Black Panther’ takes place in the fictional African country of Wakanda, where technological advances have turned the nation into a futuristic city that still abides by tribal customs while being hidden away from the rest of the world. Feige found the perfect person to lead the movie to Wakanda when the studio hired Ryan Coogler to direct ‘Black Panther’.
“The only way we ever wanted to do this project was the right way and that meant finding a filmmaker who had something personal to say, who had a vision and could take this character into another arena and showcase the power of representation on a canvas of this size,” Feige told Deadline.
“We’re very, very proud of what this film has done. The movie has made a cultural impact that is just humbling and gratifying to see. And we’re very grateful to the Academy for this recognition.”
Feige knew ‘Black Panther’ had the potential to be a massive hit for the studio and he saw the kind of attention to detail that was being put into this project by everybody involved during the earliest days of filming.
“To tell you the truth, it was bubbling up from the beginning,” Feige said. “From day one the project was announced there was a special energy. It was on the set, too, every day from all of the crew and the cast, you could feel how personal this was and how special it could be.
“And then certainly when the poster and trailers started to come out and people who hadn’t seen themselves in a film of this size in this way, it became a celebration of heritage and culture and that is very, very unusual for a film.”
The end result was a film beloved by audiences and critics alike with more than $700 million made at the domestic box office.
Then on Tuesday, ‘Black Panther’ was nominated for seven Academy Awards while becoming the first superhero film to ever get nominated for Best Picture.
While there have been plenty of nominations in the past for films based on comic books — typically in the visual and audio effects categories — ‘Black Panther’ was finally able to breakthrough to earn a nomination for Best Picture.
Many would argue that films such as Richard Donner’s ‘Superman’ or Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ probably deserved similar recognition from the Academy and that’s why Feige feels like this nomination is not only for ‘Black Panther’ but all the genre films before it that paved the way.
“The nomination for Black Panther is a point in history and it connects to so many points that came before it in this genre that I love so much,” Feige said. “Dick Donner’s Superman being a big, big part of that. It was the journey that got us here today.”
The 91st annual Academy Awards ceremony will air live on ABC on Sunday night, February 24.