Spider-Man: No Way Home may be doing a great deal more than smashing box office records and setting record-high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. The team responsible for the Marvel film is aiming for a push at acquiring something that all comic book films before have never achieved: a Best Picture Oscar. Although films like Joker and The Dark Knight have achieved Oscar wins for actor performances, none have gone so far as to win the best picture. In fact, only one Marvel film has ever been nominated in that category, Black Panther.
The controversy that has surrounded Oscar-winning directors and their opinions about Marvel films or comic book films, in general, have been divisive enough to warrant reactions from Tom Holland, Kevin Fiege, Tom Rothman, and Amy Pascal. Essentially, they are all just stating the facts on those who might try and tarnish No Way Home’s ability to be mentioned in the same light as this year’s potential best picture nominees. The film currently has a 94% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is better than most other Oscar hopefuls. Those include Belfast (86%), King Richard (91%), Licorice Pizza (92%), and West Side Story (94%).
Martin Scorcese is one of the biggest directors that made comments about Marvel films and their relevance as “cinema.” According to Scorcese, he stated in a 2019 interview that Marvel films “just aren’t cinema” and they are “closer to theme park rides” than actual traditional cinema. Those are some harsh words considering a good amount of Marvel Cinematic Universe films have delivered some of the most thought-provoking and heartfelt moments in all of cinema. No Way Home is set to shatter that opinion and reach for the best picture win at the Oscars.
Tom Holland let his opinions known about the controversial Scorcese opinion when interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and the No Way Home best picture chase. Holland claims “You can ask [Martin] Scorsese ‘Would you want to make a Marvel movie?’ But he doesn’t know what it’s like because he’s never made one.” This is a pretty astute observation as Scorcese has, in fact, likely never read a script, to begin with. No one can say when Tony Stark dying wouldn’t be pique Scorcese’s interest. Holland continues “I’ve made Marvel movies and I’ve also made movies that have been in the conversation in the world of the Oscars, and the only difference, really, is one is much more expensive than the other.”
The point that Holland is making is that most comic book films have a lot of production value and money involved, which somehow sullies the project to those responsible for nominating best picture films in the Oscars. More money in a film shouldn’t immediately knock it out of contention. Producer on No Way Home, Amy Pascal, also makes mention of another reasoning behind comic book films often being pushed aside, “Just because they’re a certain kind of genre doesn’t mean they’re not quality movies.” The comic genre seems to always be looked over when it comes to nominations, though there is good evidence that could finally be ending, and a No Way Home would be the greatest example that the film industry is past judging films for their comic book ties.