After the Academy Awards announced their new category for best “Popular Film” of the year, it’s been widely speculated that the designation is to accommodate Black Panther, a massively popular film this year that I assume the largely white Academy probably doesn’t consider “Best Picture” fare. But you can’t seriously make the Black Panther travel ALL THE WAY from Wakanda and just give him the popular film award? Nah.
“We don’t know what it [the new prize] is, so I don’t know whether to be happy about it or not,” Chadwick Boseman (which is the name Black Panther uses when he’s pretending to be a civilian and not a massively powerful superhero and heir to a lifetime fortune of vibranium) told The Hollywood Reporter recently. “What I can say is that there’s no campaign [that we are mounting] for popular film; like, if there’s a campaign, it’s for best picture, and that’s all there is to it.”
“What we did was very difficult,” Boseman, who I must admit is surprisingly casual about outing his civilian identity to a major trade magazine, continues. “We created a world, we created a culture... we had to create a religion, a spirituality, a politics; we had to create an accent; we had to pull from different cultures to create clothing styles and hair styles. It’s very much like a period piece.” Indeed, and the movie is beautiful.
Oh, hm, I’ve just been told that Chadwick Boseman is an actor who merely plays a superhero named Black Panther and the movie of the same name is a work of fiction?! You learn something new everyday! Still deserves “Best Picture” over “Popular Film” any day, though.