20th Century Fox pushing Logan as a serious Oscar contender

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer
Hugh Jackman in ‘Logan’ (credit: 20th Century Fox)

Hugh Jackman’s blockbusting Wolverine swansong ‘Logan’ broke a lot of the rules for a superhero movie. Will it also be the first superhero film to get serious recognition at the Academy Awards?

It seems studio 20th Century Fox are dead-set on this being the case, as Deadline report that Academy voters have been sent ‘for your consideration’ screener DVDs of the film from director James Mangold.

These are reportedly the very first such copies to be sent out at present, making ‘Logan’ the first film to officially start an Oscars campaign. This is also said to be the earliest 20th Century Fox have started an awards campaign – perhaps aiming to ensure the hard-edged ‘X-Men’ spin-off, released back in March, does not get forgotten once awards season begins in earnest in the coming months.

Indeed, the earliness of ‘Logan’s release may be the key thing working against its chances of major nominations, as historically films released from September onward dominate the awards shows; as Deadline note, the only two March releases to secure Best Picture nominations in the 21st century have been ‘Erin Brockovich’ (which also won Julia Roberts the Best Actress Oscar) and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’

Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart in ‘Logan’ (credit: 20th Century Fox)

Beyond Heath Ledger’s posthumous Best Supporting Actor win for ‘The Dark Knight,’ no superhero movie has previously won or even been nominated in the major categories at the Oscars before, although plenty have been nominated in the technical categories.

However, recent years have seen such SF/fantasy films as ‘District 9,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and ‘Arrival’ receive Best Picture nominations – so it doesn’t seem too unlikely that ‘Logan,’ by far the most mature and sophisticated superhero film of recent years, may follow suit.

It also seems feasible that Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart (for whom ‘Logan’ also marks the end of his ‘X-Men’ run, after 17 years) could be up for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominations, and X-23 actress Dafne Keen may even be a possibility for Best Supporting Actress – but time will tell.

Even if awards are not forthcoming, ‘Logan’ can only be considered a success. As well as being at present the ninth biggest box office hit of 2017 ($616.8 million worldwide), it was also a slam-dunk with critics, rated 93% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. 

Jackman will next be seen in musical ‘The Greatest Showman’ (another potential Oscar contender), opening in UK cinemas on 1 January 2018. ‘Logan,’ meanwhile, is available on all home entertainment platforms now.

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