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Oscars: ‘The Last Jedi,’ ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and More Advance in VFX Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected 10 films to move forward in the visual effects category for the 90th Academy Awards.

AMPAS made the announcement on Monday. The list is dominated by big-budget tentpole films such as “Blade Runner 2049,” “Dunkirk,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and “War for the Planet of the Apes” but also includes South Korean action-fantasy “Okja” and Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War tale “The Shape of Water,” which carries a budget of under $20 million.

Here is the list in alphabetical order:

“Alien: Covenant”

“Blade Runner 2049”

“Dunkirk”

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

“Kong: Skull Island”

“Okja”

“The Shape of Water”

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

“War for the Planet of the Apes”

Last year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” nabbed an Academy Awards nomination for the team of John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” also receive an Oscar nomination. The original 1977 “Star Wars” won the VFX Oscar for John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, and Robert Blalack, as did 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” and “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” also received VFX Oscar nods.

The original 1982 “Blade Runner” was nominated for a visual effects Oscar for Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer but lost to “E.T. The Extraterrestrial.”

The Academy had announced 20 films that were under consideration on Dec. 4. That list included “Beauty and the Beast,” “Ghost in the Shell,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “Justice League,” “Life” “Logan” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Spider-Man Homecoming,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Wonder Woman.”

“The Jungle Book” won the category this year over “Deepwater Horizon,” “Doctor Strange,” “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Rogue One: a Star Wars Story.” “Ex Machina,” “Interstellar,” “Gravity” and “Life of Pi” are the four previous winners.

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Jan. 6. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced on Jan. 23. The 90th Oscars will be held on March 4 at the Hollywood & Highland Center.

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