Black Panther has made history as the first superhero movie included in the Oscars' Best Picture lineup, entering Feb. 24's ceremony with seven total nominations. Despite the movie's popularity, no one was too sure about how Black Panther would fare against its more traditionally prestigious competition. Black Panther was snubbed at the Oscars when it came to big prizes, but it still had some reason to celebrate.
Surpassing the box office records of several other superhero movies after its February 2018 debut, Black Panther quickly became a commercial and critical success that even the most well-hyped Marvel movies fell short of reaching. Earlier this awards season, the film even earned a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Motion Picture — Drama category and a surprise win as the SAG Awards' Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Nominated in the Oscars' Best Picture category, Black Panther was also recognized as a contender to win Original Score, Original Song, Costume Design, Production Design, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. Wakanda forever, indeed.
Days before the Academy Awards, it was announced that Kendrick Lamar and SZA would not perform the movie's Best Original Song nominee "All the Stars" at the ceremony. Lamar's schedule ultimately prevented him from receiving as much as time as he wanted to prepare for an Oscars performance. Although fans were disappointed about the change in schedule, it was unclear whether the absence of a performance was negative foreshadowing about how the Academy Awards would ultimately go for Black Panther.
As Oscars night progressed, the film snagged historic trophies for Costume Design and Production Design. While Ruth E. Carter became the first African-American nominee to win for Costume Design, Production Design winner Hannah Beachler was the first African-American woman nominated and victorious in the category. The movie lost awards for Sound Editing, Original Song, and Sound Mixing, but it still took home an Oscar for Original Score. It lost the Best Picture prize to Green Book, but the superhero flick definitely had a night worthy of a Wakanda celebration. After all, what other Marvel movie has gotten this much recognition?
In case you happened to miss it (and where were you if you did?), Black Panther introduced Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa as king of the fictional African country Wakanda, torn between the nation's need for growth and threats emerging from his past. As the hero Black Panther, T'Challa has to immerse himself into the real world in order to prevent Wakanda's involvement in a worldwide war.
With a star-studded cast including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, and Danai Gurira, Black Panther easily segued into the story of last year's epic superhero mashup Avengers: Infinity War. Sure, some of the characters vanished as a result of Thanos' Decimation, but it's safe to say that they'll find their way back into existence in time for more Black Panther glory.
But at the end of the day, Black Panther's representation and quality is what made it stand out in the crowded superhero genre. Whether or not its filmmakers left with Oscars in tow on Feb. 24, fans were bound to feel proud of how far the project has come. With a Black Panther sequel now even more possible, fans will have to wait and see if the love for Wakanda carries through to more Black Panther stories.
Congrats on your Oscar wins, Black Panther! Here's to more trophies for a sequel someday.