The Marvel film Black Panther made history last weekend as the first superhero movie nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and the first Marvel movie to win any Academy Awards.
Black Panther won three out of its six nominations, including Best Original Music Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. The other nominations were Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and the aforementioned Best Picture.
The film not only made history in the sense of its genre. Ruth Carter also became the first African American woman to win the category of Best Costume Design. Similarly, Hannah Beachler became the first African American woman to win Best Production Design.
When Black Panther initially came out in January of 2018, it was hailed as a trailblazer. Its cast was made largely of people of color. Many main characters were also women, as well as strong and well-rounded characters.
It continues to make history upwards of a year afterwards, paving the way for women and people of color in the film industry. Black Panther also proves that a movie created and starring women and people of color can not only succeed financially, but succeed at some of the most prestigious award shows.
The success at the Oscars Black Panther not only artfully and commercially successful, but publicly so. In turn, producers may be encouraged to cast with diversity, as the common fear of consumers being unable to relate to minority characters and therefore less likely to go see or buy the film, is disproved.
Marvel’s Black Panther is as much a film for the present as it is for the future. As much as its messages and story apply to the modern day, every precedent it sets and record it breaks is a road paved into the future.