After the Oscars snubbed “The Dark Knight” in 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expanded the best picture race to a possible 10 slots, in the hopes of including more commercial titles. But so far, not a single live-action comic book movie has ever been nominated for the top prize.
In this week’s Variety cover story, “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds predicts that could soon change after the release of “Logan,” the much-anticipated final Wolverine pic, out this spring. Directed by James Mangold (“Walk the Line”), the R-rated drama is said to be more of a character study — if that’s possible for the genre — as opposed to a straight-up action movie.
“‘Logan’ looks like a movie that might break that glass ceiling,” Reynolds tells Variety. “I know first-hand that it’s amazing. I’ve seen some of it. It’s mind-blowing. It relies a lot on character.”
Of course, there’s also the small chance that the Academy makes history this month, by giving “Deadpool” a surprise best picture nomination. Before you scoff, keep in mind that it’s not the most competitive year, and the spring release has earned $783 million worldwide. If there’s one thing Hollywood loves, it’s an underdog story, which might explain why 20th Century Fox has been running an unexpected Oscar campaign for the red spandex-wearing anti-hero.
Hugh Jackman, who worked with Reynolds in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” is among those backing “Deadpool” for awards consideration. “When I hosted the Oscars, ‘Batman’ didn’t get nominated, and everyone was talking about it,” Jackman tells Variety. “It’s a stretch to say these are injustices in life — we are happy and making movies. But I love it when someone like Ryan gets recognized.” He adds, “These big-budget or comic book movies are not easy to pull off.”
To read more about how Reynolds walked in Deadpool’s shoes and how he’d like to reunite onscreen with Wolverine, read this week’s cover story here.