Marvel Studios received one Oscar® nomination for its 2016 films, a Best Visual Effects nod for Doctor Strange. Stephane Ceretti (visual effects supervisor), Richard Bluff (visual effects supervisor: ILM), Vincent Cirelli (visual effects supervisor: Luma Pictures), and Paul Corbould (special effects supervisor) were all recognized for their work on Doctor Strange. They were not, however, the only Marvel Cinematic Universe alumni to be nominated today.
While it may not have been for their work in the MCU, several contributors to our favorite shared universe had their names called today. It is a testament to their individual efforts, of course, but also fun to look at the wealth of talent that has brought the MCU to life over the years.
Once known simply as “The Girl in the Flower Dress,” Ruth Negga quickly became a fan favorite as Raina on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She had a recurring role during the series’ first two seasons and it was Negga’s undeniable presence and charisma that made the character jump of the screen and it’s no surprise that she was went on to bigger things, like her starring role in Loving, for which the received a Best Actress Oscar® nomination this morning. Though “It’s all connected,” I wouldn’t be opposed to having Negga return to the MCU as a new character, this time in the movies.
Ruth Negga was joined in the Best Actress category by Natalie Portman (Jackie), also known to Marvel fans as Jane Foster in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. This is Portman’s third Oscar® nomination to go with a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Closer and a Best Actress nomination and win for Black Swan.
The Best Supporting Actor category also features two MCU veterans. Jeff Bridges was there for the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Obadiah Stane in Iron Man. He picked up his seventh Oscar® nomination today for his role in Hell or High Water. In order to get his second win (he previously won for Crazy Heart, he’s going to have to get past a more recent, but all-time great Marvel villain.
Mahershala Ali was the standout performer in the first season of Luke Cage on Netflix last year. As Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, Ali could’ve gotten by on that amazing laugh, but he gave the character tremendous depth by carrying the weight of his character’s troubled past on his shoulders in every scene. Today’s nomination for his role in Moonlight is likely to be only the first of many.
All told, four out of the twenty acting nominees have been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is not to say that they have been lucky to be part of the MCU, but that the MCU has been lucky to have 20% of this year’s acting nominees.
Beyond the acting categories, there were several more MCU contributors nominated today. In addition to the nominees for Doctor Strange, the Best Visual Effects category includes two other Marvel alumni, both of whom were nominated for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Visual effects supervisor (Industrial Light & Magic) Mohen Leo held the same role (for ILM’s London unit) on Ant-Man while animation supervisor Hal Hickel was the animation supervisor for ILM on Iron Man.
Best Costume Design nominee Mary Zophres (La La Land) was the costume designer on Iron Man 2. Gene Serdena, a set decorator on the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming was nominated for Best Production Design for Passengers. Ai-Ling Lee, who was a dialogue editor on Thor, picked nominations in Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing for La La Land.
Joining Lee in the Sound Mixing category are:
- David Parker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) was a re-recoding mixer on Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Marvel’s The Avengers
- Christopher Scarabosio (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) was a re-recording mixer on Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Gary Summers (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi) was a re-recording mixer on Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron
Best Makeup and Hairstyling offered a look at the MCU’s past and its future with four nominees:
- Joel Harlow (Star Trek Beyond) is the makeup designer on Black Panther, which is currently in production for a February 2018 release.
- Richard Alonzo (Star Trek Beyond) was a key makeup artist for the second unit on Iron Man and a special effects makeup artist on Thor: The Dark World.
- Giorgio Gregorini (Suicide Squad) was hair stylist on Avengers: Age of Ultron while the movie was shooting in Italy.
- Christopher Nelson (Suicide Squad) was a makeup artist on Thor: The Dark World and a special effects makeup artist on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which hits theaters on May 5.
Congratulations to all of the nominees! We’ll be pulling for all of the MCU alumni (but especially the VFX team from Doctor Strange) when the winners are announced during the 89th Academy Awards on February 26.