The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most successful film franchise in Hollywood history. The clever decision to break the interconnected story into phases and sagas manages the continuing story's dramatic peaks and provides a handy timeline of milestones. Star Wars is the only Marvel franchise that comes close to that.
The MCU can't seem to stop setting records with its three tentpole films a year and huge multimedia narrative. But what about awards?
After all, when blockbusters get on the awards radar, we're used to it being recognition for the sound or visual effects that give them their name. If a blockbuster could be recognized in the so-called larger categories acknowledging direction, production, or acting, surely it had to come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
The birth of Black Panther has been a major event.
Black Panther was the film that broke the mold, becoming the first MCU film to be nominated for Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards. Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege had an Oscar nominee comic book film to his credit as the franchise neared the conclusion of its first major storyline, the Infinity Saga, and an epic Avengers double-bill.
The sequel to Black Panther had to contend with many things, including the legacy of its predecessor and the tragic death of star Chadwick Boseman, who had been an essential factor in the Academy Awards taking notice. Although it didn't receive a Best Picture nomination, it received a significant first in the MCU's acting category with Angela Bassett's Best Supporting Actress nomination.
The two Black Panther films are the most nominated MCU installments, but they aren't the only. In total, 15 MCU films have received Academy nominations, starting from the film's birth.
Here are some of the best Oscar-winning films from the epic franchise.
Which MCU films have been nominated for an Academy Award?
Most often, visual and sound categories have come calling for the MCU. However, the last decade and a half have brought recognition for make-up and hairstyling, costume design, scores, and production. Here's the breakdown by MCU phase.
Phase One is underway.
Iron Man (2009)
Best Sound Editing Nomination (Frank Eulner, Christopher Boyes)
Best Visual Effects (John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick, Shane Mahan) is nominated.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Best Visual Effects (Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright, and Dan Sudick) are nominated.
The Avengers (2012)
Nomination: Best Visual Effects (Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, and Dan Sudick)
Phase Two is the second phase.
Iron Man 3 (2014) is a trilogy of short stories set in the Iron Man studio.
Nomination: Best Visual Effects (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick)
(2014). Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, and Dan Sudick are among the nominees for best visual effects.
(2014) The Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Visual Effects (Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould)
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White, and others are nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Phase Three is now available.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Best Visual Effects (Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli, Paul Corbould)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Nomination: Best Visual Effects (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, and Dan Sudick)
(2018): Black Panther
Best Picture (Kevin Feige) Nomination
Best Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter) Won: Best Costume Design
Best Original Score (Ludwig Göransson) is awarded.
Nomination: Best Original Song (All the Stars — Mark "Sounwave" Spears, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, SZA)
Best Production Design (Hannah Beachler, Jay Hart)
Nominated: Best Sound Mixing (Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Peter J. Devlin) Nominated: Best Sound Editing (Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Best Visual Effects (Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick) are nominated.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Best Visual Effects (Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken, and Dan Sudick) are nominated.
Phase Four of the project
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Best Visual Effects (Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker, and Dan Oliver) are nominated.
(2022) Spider-Man: No Way Home
Best Visual Effects (Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein, Dan Sudick)
Wakanda Forever, by Black Panther (2022)
Best Supporting Actress (Angela Bassett) is nominated.
Best Original Song (Lift Me Up – Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Göransson) Nominated: Best Original Song
Best Makeover and Hairstyling (Camille Friend, Joel Harlow) Nominated
Ruth Carter is nominated for best costume design.
Best Visual Effects (Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White, Dan Sudick)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be the first MCU film to win an Oscar since its predecessor at the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023.