Jonathan Majors Explains Why Angela Bassett’s Oscar Nomination Is A Big Opportunity For The MCU And The Academy

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

For the first time in Marvel Studios' history, an actor’s performance is being recognized by The Academy as Angela Bassett was recently nominated for her work in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The 2023 Oscar nomination follows the legendary actress winning her second Golden Globe last month for the supporting role as well. As we anticipate the upcoming award show, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s Jonathan Majors has shared his thoughts on the actress' historic nomination. 

As Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror is set to be introduced in the MCU in the Ant-Man sequel next weekend, the actor spoke about Bassett's recent nomination at the movie’s premiere. Here are his thoughts on the actress' performance in Wakanda Forever being recognized at the Oscars:  

Cinema must evolve and must grow. As the MCU grows and evolves, literally we go in phases, The Academy, the art form, grows and evolves. And what Angela Bassett has done within this medium, this is an opera, and so to act and to perform and to give a performance on that level with that much humanity in an opera is a high level of difficulty, and it takes a high talent to do so. The MCU is the form for that, and so it’s an opportunity I think for The Academy to broaden their territory artistically and culturally. So, we’ll see what happens.

While speaking to The Wrap, Majors gave big props to Angela Bassett for her performance as the mother of T’Challa in the recent Black Panther sequel. He shared that her performance took a “high level” of talent to achieve, and he believes the nomination allows the Academy to really “broaden” the range of movies they award, perhaps upcoming Marvel movies we’ve yet to see will end up on this prestigious list in the future.  

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Angela Bassett facing Namor in Black Panther 2

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

You can check out Angela Bassett's Oscar-nominated performance as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with a Disney+ subscription

The Academy has been dealing with a lot of backlash in recent years for not nominating various genres for Oscars including MCU films, but also in other places. For example, there were numerous 2022 horror movies that deserved Oscars consideration like Mia Goth’s Pearl performance or Jordan Peele’s film Nope, especially in the Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography categories.

Additionally, Angela Bassett is the only Black woman to be nominated in a performance category despite there being a lot of buzz for Viola Davis in The Woman King and Danielle Deadwyler for Till. Bassett was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category alongside Hong Chau for The Whale, Kerry Condon for The Banshees of Inisherin as well as Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu for their performances in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Previously, the first Black Panther became the first Marvel film to be nominated for Best Picture in 2019 along with being recognized in six other categories. The movie ended up winning Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. This year, Wakanda Forever is up for four other Oscars: Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song with Rihanna’s first new track in years, “Lift Me Up.” 

We’ll see how the Best Supporting Actress award shakes out when The Oscars air on ABC on Sunday, March 12. In the meantime, you can see Jonathan Majors’ in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in theaters starting February 17. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.