×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Wonder Woman’: Warner Bros. Plans Groundbreaking Oscar Campaign for Director, Best Picture (EXCLUSIVE)

With $781 million in global box office receipts, “Wonder Woman” has already broken records as the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman ever.

Now Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, wants the action movie to break another glass ceiling. Although executives haven’t commented publicly on their plans, they have internally discussed launching a formidable awards-season campaign for the movie, in the hopes of making it the first comic-book film nominated for best picture, Variety has learned.

The studio will also stump Patty Jenkins for best director, which would also be groundbreaking. No director of a comic-book film — not even Christopher Nolan — has ever been nominated, and only men have ruled the category since (and before) Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscar for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.

A spokesperson for WB declined to comment.

This won’t be a cheap endeavor, as the road to the Oscars keeps getting costlier. Big dollars are spent on taking out advertising, making watermarked DVDs, setting screenings, and paying for talent to travel to both coasts, to remind voters how hard they suffered for their craft.

The Oscar race took a turn in 2009, after another Warner. Bros. film, “The Dark Knight,” failed to secure a best picture nomination. In 2010, the Academy expanded its best picture category from five to a maximum of 10 movies. But although blockbusters like “Gravity” and “The Martian” have made the cut, a comic book movie has yet to compete in the top race.

That’s because the Academy is still too stodgy to recognize Batman or Deadpool as art. But Warner Bros. executives have been wondering if new membership expansions, which have increased the voting body to include younger members and more diversity, will boost “Wonder Woman’s” chances. (Among the new class of voters is star Gal Gadot, who will presumably support this mission.)

The studio’s efforts will include reintroducing the film this fall, to scarce few who may not have seen it. Insiders report strong reactions to the screening of “Wonder Woman” at the Academy, as it’s been championed by a liberal Hollywood and a reinvigorated wave of feminism in response to Donald Trump. But the movie’s glow could diminish if the mashup tentpole “Justice League,” which comes out in November and co-stars Gadot, gets ripped to shreds by harsh reviews.

The awards-season race usually starts in the fall, though movies released earlier in the year — such as “Mad Max: Fury Road” — can make a comeback and rally with plenty of nominations. Many of the Academy Awards contenders in 2017 seem to be lower-budged films, such as Paramount’s “Downsizing” and “mother!,” Netlfix’s “Mudbound,” and Sony Pictures Classics’ “Call Me By Your Name.”

With all the focus on “Wonder Woman,” Warner Bros. won’t be neglecting its other summer hit. Sources report to Variety that the studio will also be bringing out the guns for “Dunkirk” and its director Nolan. That means, in a year without a clear frontrunner, Warner Bros. will have two big studio movies trying to crush the competition.

More Film

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content