Can lightning strike twice? Back in 2018, Black Panther exceeded all expectations, not just at the box office, but with the Oscars as well. The film would ultimately be cited seven times at the 91st Academy Awards, winning three statues in the process. So, when thinking about its sequel, it’s impossible not to look back at the original. After all, Black Panther was nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Song, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing, while winning Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. Now, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever having screened (I saw it a little over a week ago at this point), it’s high time to update my predictions, reflecting where the new Marvel Cinematic Universe effort stands in the race.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still technically under review embargo, so I’m not reviewing the movie here, merely talking about its Oscar prospects. So, remember that as I talk a bit about where the Academy may or may not go for the latest Marvel flick. This is only the start of the conversation when it comes to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Working in its favor, besides the obvious quality (stay tuned for my review in a few days), is that several of the technical categories rewarded Black Panther with Academy Awards. A fair bet would be for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to have a similar below the line showing. In fact, it already seems likely that Rhianna will get the film a win in Original Song. Production Design, Costume Design, and Original Score, where it previously won, also do seem like categories that are fair bets for major contention. Throw in Best Score and a similar haul from the first one could be in the cards. It will almost certainly end up the second most nominated MCU flick to date.
On the flip side, Best Picture and the above the line categories may prove challenging. If Black Panther cracked Picture at least in part because it was the right film in the right place at the right time, duplicating that achievement may well be unlikely. The same obviously goes for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the acting categories, even if Best Supporting Actress is where its only fighting chance likely resides. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will need major precursor love in order to crack these fields. It’s not impossible, but keeping expectations in check likely will be wise here.
The X factor here, of course, is the late Chadwick Boseman. Best Picture nominees normally elicit emotion from the audience. If voters give this one a chance and see it as a tribute to Boseman, that will increase its chances. You just can’t tell at this point if it will matter. After all, Boseman lost Best Actor at the height of his posthumous celebration. So, nothing is a guarantee.
Now, we just await the arrivals of Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, and Emancipation. They will be the last and final reveals before we take on the contenders a whole. We’re nearing that time, too, as at another one of these is about to screen. Sit tight for more there, but the puzzle is rapidly being filled in, as I said a few weeks ago with She Said. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now just the latest piece to come out of the box.
My prior early prediction articles (found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) are available for your perusal, and can see some more of the changes I’ve been making. Like I’ve been saying since early on in the month of September, we’re now in it, friends. Hell, it’s now November!
Folks, as always you can see my newest crack at advance Oscar predictions (which officially now will just be considered regular old new predictions, as opposed to year in advance) right here at Awards Radar. The changes are coming, and will continue to come, more and more, now that the fall festivals have basically wrapped up. So, sit tight for more…
Stay tuned for another update to these Oscar predictions as the awards season continues!