It has been a topic of conversation for quite some time now. Will a major comic-book property ever contend for an Academy Award? The Oscars made changes to its Best Picture field a few years back, and many believed it was because Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight was shut out of the Academy's top category. This year, some have argued that Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman belongs in the Awards Race, but WB is not alone in thinking it has a contender, as Fox just sent screeners of James Mangold's Logan to Academy voters.
Logan even earns the distinction of being the first DVD screener sent to Academy voters, per Pete Hammond's reporting over at Deadline. He notes that Fox is being aggressive in its campaign to remind people about the drama, which came out in March (and received across-the-board positive reviews). Bringing a movie back into the spotlight when it has been off the grid for some time presents definite challenges. Some experts have been writing that now is a good time for Universal to start dusting off Get Out again, to give it a possible Oscar run.
I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that Fox is putting its resources behind Logan, and especially Hugh Jackman, for an Oscar push. The final chapter in Wolverine's lengthy on-screen saga, Logan remains one of the best movies I have seen this year -- not "comic book" movie, but just movie, full stop. And Jackman absolutely should see his name in the running for any Best Actor consideration, as his final portrayal of the savage warrior known as Wolverine wears all of the baggage that this hero (and this actor) has collected over the years. It's a marvelous turn that is Oscar-worthy, on every level.
The question becomes, will Hugh Jackman choose to back Logan, or put his weight behind December's The Greatest Showman. The latter might not be an Oscar movie (we haven't seen it yet), but both films are Fox properties, so you know they are coordinating behind their own lines to figure out the best course of action.
Is there room enough in the Oscar race for both Logan and Wonder Woman? I think so. The former is a weightier, more profound conclusion to a larger saga, while Patty Jenkins' DC origin story is one of those populist accomplishments that could help attract precious viewers to the Oscars telecast, where they might tune in to see if a movie they care deeply enough about can prevail over a stuffier arthouse movie that very few have seen.
Either way, the arrival of screeners means that the Oscar race officially is underway, so keep it locked on CinemaBlend for the next six months -- SIX MONTHS -- as we track the marathon that is Awards Season.