The House Of Mouse and Marvel are determined to see 'Black Panther' get a nomination for Best Picture, not the Popular Film category that's being introduced in this year's Academy Awards.
A report by the Los Angeles Times published today claims that Disney isn't prepared to settle for the new category, and has hired a veteran Oscar strategist for the campaign to get 'Black Panther' a nomination whilst Kevin Feige has authorised a significant budget for it as well.
While the Academy is notoriously stuffy about the Best Picture category, movies such as 'The Dark Knight', 'Titanic' and 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King' have all featured in the past twenty years, with 'Titanic' and 'Return of the King' sweeping the boards that year. The move by the Academy to introduce a Popular Film category was met with widespread criticism by industry figures and audiences worldwide, with many believing that it was a sop to ABC's demands for higher ratings for the ceremony.
That said however, an Oscar analyst told the LA Times that "Dawn Hudson (Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences president) would crawl in a hole if Black Panther gets snubbed for best picture and winds up landing in the popular film category," adding that Hudson "would be way more disappointed than anyone at Marvel" if 'Black Panther' was nominated for the popular film category.
Nominations won't be announced for another few months yet, but already movies such as 'Blackkklansman', 'First Man', and 'A Star Is Born' are being tipped as frontrunners.