Even before Marvel’s Black Panther debuted in February 2018, the film industry knew it would be a groundbreaking new chapter in superhero movies. Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa/Black Panther, led a predominantly black cast for the first standalone film for a black Marvel superhero. And it didn't take long for Black Panther to start breaking a handful of box office records.
In December, the movie made headlines again when it became the first superhero film to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama. While it ultimately lost to the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, it truly was an honor for the film just to be nominated. And now, Black Panther has gone on to be recognized for something even more prestigious: It's the first superhero film ever to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
The closest a movie in this genre has ever gotten was Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), which earned an impressive eight Oscar nods in 2009, yet Best Picture wasn't one of them. (The late Heath Ledger, who famously played the Joker, did win 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 to the importance of representation in mainstream films. Unsurprisingly, director Ryan Coogler has already signed on the write and direct the sequel.