The Oscar for Best Production Design — often associated with lavish sets, interiors, and settings — is usually awarded to period films or fantasies. The most recent winner was “The Great Gatsby,” set in the opulent Long Island homes of the wealthy, and other recent winners include period pieces “Lincoln,” “Hugo,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and “The Aviator,” as well as fantasies “Alice in Wonderland,” “Avatar,” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was nominated in 2012, and the final chapter of Peter Jackson‘s trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” could earn a return bid; production designer Dan Hennah previously won for Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
Other previous winners who could be in the running include Dennis Gassner (“Into the Woods“) and Rick Heinrichs (“Big Eyes“). Heinrichs might have a unique advantage working with director Tim Burton, whose films have won this category four times before.
A number of other period films are also in the running, including “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Oscar-nominee Adam Stockhausen), “Mr. Turner” (Suzie Davies) “Fury” (Andrew Menzies) “The Imitation Game” (Maria Djurkovic), “Unbroken” (Jon Hutman), “Selma” (Mark Friedberg) “The Homesman” (two-time nominee Merideth Boswell), “Inherent Vice” (David Crank), and “The Theory of Everything” (John Paul Kelly).
Sci-fi and fantasy films with a chance to be nominated include “Interstellar” (two-time nominee Nathan Crowley) “Guardians of the Galaxy” (Charles Wood). and “Maleficent” (Dylan Cole and Gary Freeman) along with Biblical epics “Noah” (Friedberg) and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (two-time nominee Arthur Max).
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