Oscar Beat: Could ‘Deadpool’ Actually Score a Best Picture Nomination?

     January 10, 2017

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Will Deadpool be the first superhero movie to land a Best Picture Oscar nomination? It sure is looking possible. The film was in development for years before 20th Century Fox finally greenlit the R-rated superhero movie, albeit with a much smaller budget than what traditionally accompanies a film of this genre. But Deadpool was a massive success when it opened last February, going on to gross $783 million worldwide. It was funny and amusing and filthy, and fans quickly began demanding a sequel, turning this little movie nobody wanted to make into one of the most anticipated superhero franchises around right now. And that was that, Deadpool was a hit and it spawned a new superhero franchise. Done and done. Or so we thought…

Fox began an awards campaign for Deadpool and star Ryan Reynolds last fall, which seemed amusing but obviously had no chance of succeeding. Reynolds then scored a Golden Globe nod as did the film itself for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, but those are the Globes—they’re wacky! They nominated The Tourist for pete’s sake, so that didn’t really mean anything.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

Alongside a few mentions on critics’ Top 10 lists here and there, the film’s first serious recognition came from the Writers Guild of America, which nominated Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick for Best Adapted Screenplay. It was a shocking validation, but it was no fluke. Now the film has scored a coveted nomination from the Producers Guild of America, and folks are starting to seriously consider the possibility the Deadpool could be a Best Picture Oscar nominee.

Why do the WGA and PGA nominations suddenly make Deadpool a contender? Well the guilds are seen as the biggest predictors of potential Oscar nominations and eventual winners, given that some of those who vote for the WGA awards and PGA awards are also Academy members. There’s genuine voter overlap, they’re groups made up of actual industry professionals just like the Academy, and so seeing what nominations arise from a voting body such as this can oftentimes mirror the eventual Oscar nominees.

Thus, with Deadpool now having been nominated for a Writers Guild of America award and Best Picture from the Producers Guild, it’d be silly not to consider the possibility that the film could actually score an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

The PGA nominees rarely match up exactly with the Best Picture Oscar lineup, but they do have significant overlap. Here’s a quick overview of how many PGA nominees became Oscar nominees over the past couple of years:

Year Number of PGA Nominees That Were Also Oscar Nominees
2015 7/10
2014 7/10
2013 8/10
2012 8/10
2011 7/10

 

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Image via 20th Century Fox

So, as you can see, the PGA’s list of nominees usually misses just two or three of the eventual Oscar nominees. And this year’s list is as follows:

Arrival

Deadpool

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight 

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