Why Aren't Marvel Movies Nominated For Major Awards? We Ask The Director Of 'Infinity War'

In an exclusive interview with SAYS, the cast and director of 'Avengers: Infinity War' weigh in on why superhero movies rarely show up in the Oscars.

Cover image via Marvel Studios

With Avengers: Infinity War smashing box office records all over the globe, there's no denying that Marvel Studios is leading the charge in the golden age of superhero movies

Image via Marvel Studios

In the past decade since 2008's Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has consistently delivered films that are both well-reviewed by critics and widely-enjoyed by audiences all over the world. 

However, despite being well-loved by fans and critics alike, no Marvel film has ever won a major film award, much less an Oscar. In fact, historically, superhero movies rarely show up on the Academy's radar.

Out of 17 movies released from 2008 to 2017, Marvel has only received 10 Oscar nominations, all in technical categories like Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, as well as Best Makeup and Hairstyling. 

2016's Doctor Strange was nominated for Best Visual Effects, but ultimately lost to The Jungle Book.

Image via Marvel Studios

Admittedly, superhero movies do get nominated in technical categories, but their success do not often cross over to the more coveted writing and acting categories, much less for Best Director or Best Picture. 

Which begs the question - why? In our interview with Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo last month, here's what he had to say about the ever-elusive Oscar statuette:

"I think... the Oscars, in a way, helps support movies that haven't gotten a lot of attention, or deserve more attention than they got."

However, Russo admits that it's "unfortunate" that Marvel movies have yet to earn nominations in major categories

"Perhaps it's a stigma towards [superhero] films, but ultimately, we make these movies because we're trying to tell the best story that we can. We have a lot of incredible fans, and we want them to feel satisfied in the storytelling." 

If the deciding factor is in finding a deeper meaning beyond formulaic storylines, Russo said that it's something Marvel has always kept in mind when it comes to taking the franchise beyond superheroes saving the world

"I like movies with thematics, I like complicated and rich storytelling. I like to be able to go see a film and if there's something deeper that I can pull out of a movie," he explained. 

For example, Captain America: Winter Soldier

Joe Russo (middle) directing Anthony Mackie (left) and Chris Evans (right) in Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Image via Marvel Studios

"Winter Soldier was a commentary on the dangers of a surveillance state... and data corruption and micro-targetting people on the Internet. And now we have Cambridge Analytica and this massive Facebook problem, which could potentially influence the Western world for the next decade.

That was something that was concerning my brother (and co-director Anthony Russo) at the time, and we wanted to infuse it into the storytelling."

In our interview with Benedict Cumberbatch and Karen Gillan, the Infinity War stars also dismissed Hollywood "elitists" who think they're "selling" out by getting involved in superhero movies

Image via Marvel Studios

"To be taken on a journey and be invested in [the movies], I think this is one of the reasons why Marvel do so well. They're light on their feet - they take the zeitgeist a little bit, but they also thread humour through what they do.

For all these reasons, I don't feel hurt by these insults, 'coz they don't hold any power. They're not true," said the Doctor Strange actor.

Gillan, who plays Guardians of the Galaxy's Nebula, agreed. 

"It's just a bit elitist. These movies are fun and escapism for people. It's easy to forget the purpose of entertainment sometimes, I think." 

Read the rest of our interview with Benedict Cumberbatch and Karen Gillan here:

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