Thursday 17 October 2019

Record breaking Black Panther makes history with Oscar nod

It is the first comic book film to be nominated for best picture.

Chadwick Boseman, who stars in Black Panther (Ian West/PA)
Chadwick Boseman, who stars in Black Panther (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Black Panther is the rare type of film that has proven popular with audiences, critics and the Oscars.

The first comic book film to land a best picture nomination, it would make history again if it were to take home the biggest prize of the night.

Marvel’s first standalone film about a black superhero, starring a majority black cast, it has made more than $1.3 billion at the global box office and its financial success was hailed as a huge step in proving productions with black casts did not only appeal to black audiences.

It earned a 97% rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes and won the biggest prize of the night at the Screen Actors Guild awards, outstanding performance by a cast.

On stage, star Chadwick Boseman – on whether the film has changed the industry – said: “My answer to that is… to be young, gifted and black.

“Because all of us up here know what it’s like to be told there is not a place for you to be featured yet you are young, gifted and black.

“We know what it’s like to be told there is not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on.

“We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head, to be beneath and not above and that is what we went to work with every day. We knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world.”

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The cast and crew of Black Panther attending The Black Panther European Premiere at The Eventim Apollo Hammersmith London (Ian West/PA)

Director Ryan Coogler has already signed on to do a sequel, after penning a heartfelt letter thanking fans for supporting the first.

He wrote: “Deep down, we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent.

“Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong.

“It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film.

“But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theatres, often moved me and my wife to tears.”

The film was based on the comic book character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, which was debuted in the Fantastic Four in 1966.

It is in the running for seven Oscars, including best picture, original song, costume design and original score.

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