×

Oscars: ‘Rogue One,’ ‘Suicide Squad,’ ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Advance in Visual Effects Race

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Suicide Squad,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “The Jungle Book” are among the movies that could compete in the Oscar visual effects category. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Friday the 20 films that will advance in the race.

Here are all the pics that will compete in the VFX Oscar race:

“Alice Through the Looking Glass”
“Arrival”
“The BFG”
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”
“Captain America: Civil War”
“Deadpool”
“Deepwater Horizon”
“Doctor Strange”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Independence Day: Resurgence”
The Jungle Book
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”
“Passengers”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
“Star Trek Beyond”
Suicide Squad
“Sully”
“Warcraft”
“X-Men: Apocalypse”

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee will narrow the list further to 10 for the bakeoff stage in a few weeks. From there, nominees will be chosen and announced on Jan. 24.

Frontrunners in the field appear to be films like “The Jungle Book,” “Rogue One,” and “Doctor Strange,” as outlined in a recent analysis of the category. But sleeper contenders include Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” which was supervised by five-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri, and Clint Eastwood’s “Sully,” which could be a surprise nominee for minimal yet effective work a la the director’s “Hereafter” several years ago.

The inclusion of Laika’s “Kubo and the Two Strings” is interesting as well, as the stop-motion film employed the studio’s usual blend of practical and digital wizardry.

Friday’s announcement of “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” bodes well for Warner Bros., given that the eight “Potter” movies generated a total of only three VFX nominations. The team is headed by supervisors Tim Burke and Christian Manz.

Marvel-Disney’s “Captain America: Civil War” is the top box office performer on the list, having hauled in $1.2 billion. Supervisors Dan DeLeeuw and Russell Earl were also nominated for the previous installment, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

“Rogue One” is one of two films on the list that has not yet opened (it hits theaters on Dec. 16). Last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” nabbed a nomination for the team of Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould. The original “Star Wars” won the VFX Oscar for John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, and Robert Blalack.

“Passengers,” the Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt sci-fi adventure, also hasn’t debuted yet (it launches Dec. 21). Erik Nordby and Pete Dionne headed up the MPC team in completing the effects.

Films that missed the cut include Critics’ Choice nominee “A Monster Calls” and Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon.”

“Ex Machina” won the visual effects Oscar this year and “Interstellar” took the trophy in 2015.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content