×

‘Black Panther’s’ Sterling K. Brown on Popular Film Oscars Category: ‘I Go Back and Forth’

Black Panther” actor Sterling K. Brown is torn about the Academy Awards’ new popular film category.

At an FYC event for “This Is Us” at Paramount Studios, Brown, who played N’Jobu in the Marvel blockbuster, told Variety his stance on the category — particularly as it relates to “Black Panther,” which is eligible for 2018 nominations — goes “back and forth.”

“When I first heard of the category, the first question I had was, ‘What is the criterion for being nominated in this category?'” Brown said. “If it’s something that can give it some sort of merit and legitimacy, then I think it’s cool. But I think ‘Black Panther’ stands on its own merits regardless of its popularity as being a wonderful piece of art.”

“Ryan Coogler is an artist,” Brown continued. “The man is three for three in his films thus far, and I don’t see him striking out anytime soon. So whether it’s in one category, the other, or both, the movie is worthy of recognition.”

His sentiments echo those of many who’ve weighed in on the new category, saying it may give the Academy an excuse to leave commercially successful films — which have historically not made serious headway with the Academy despite their potential artistic merits — out of the best picture category in favor of more typical Oscars fare — and that, practically, the addition doesn’t make sense. Variety‘s awards editor Kristopher Tapley termed the move “desperate.”

Of “Black Panther” particularly, Tapley wrote: “Disney has taken the task of bringing Ryan Coogler’s critically acclaimed Marvel film into the Oscar fold quite seriously this year. A consultancy team was assembled early and that group has been laying the track ever since. Now here comes the Academy, establishing a corner to which voters can banish this and other films like it with a pat on the head and a ‘thanks for playing.'”

More Film

  • For web story

    'The Burnt Orange Heresy,' With Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland, to Close Venice

    “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” starring Mick Jagger as a reclusive art dealer alongside Elizabeth Debicki (“Widows”), Claes Bang (“The Square”) and Donald Sutherland, has been selected as the Venice Film Festival closer.  The English-language art heist movie marks Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi’s first time back at Venice since 2009, when his debut feature film, the [...]

  • A woman prays at a makeshift

    Kyoto Animation Death Toll Rises to 34; Suspect Still Too Injured to Be Questioned

    Shinji Aoba, the man suspected of setting a fire that killed 34 people at the Kyoto Animation studio, remains hospitalized and too injured to be officially arrested and questioned. Police in Kyoto have obtained an arrest warrant for Aoba but cannot serve it because of his condition. Police sources have raised the death toll from [...]

  • Azania Muendane

    Locations Africa Expo Sends Message in Durban: ‘Africa is Ready’

    DURBAN–The first edition of the Locations Africa Expo and Conference was held this week during the Durban FilmMart, with an eye toward identifying and growing the opportunities to lure incoming productions to the continent. “Locations Africa is trying to service a need on the continent to discuss the physical production…on the ground, highlighting film commissions, [...]

  • The Lion King

    China Box Office: 'Looking Up' Is Surprise Weekend Winner Ahead of 'Lion King'

    Actor and comedian Deng Chao underlined his enduring popularity with mainstream Chinese audiences by delivering a surprise No. 1 box-office hit in “Looking Up” over the weekend. It scored $38.6 million in its opening frame, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, and displaced “The Lion King” from its perch. “Looking Up” is a family [...]

  • Unathi Malonga

    Report Urges South African Media to ‘Step Up’ Against Gender Violence

    DURBAN–In a country with some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, South African media must step up and play a greater role in the fight against gender inequality and gender-based violence. That was the conclusion of a report, “Gender, Diversity and Gender-based Violence in South African TV,” that was [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content