Patrick Stewart (‘Logan’): Will Critics’ Choice contender earn rare Oscar nomination for comic book role?

The 2018 Critics’ Choice Award nominations for film didn’t include too many major shocks or omissions. Most of the top contenders who have been touted as top Oscar hopefuls made the cut at these awards, but because of that one nomination especially stood out: Patrick Stewart (“Logan”) for Best Supporting Actor. Can he earn an Oscar nomination next? It would be rare for a comic-book role to earn an Oscar bid, but it’s not unheard of.

Stewart co-stars in “Logan” as Professor Charles Xavier, a telepath and the head of a school for other mutants with special abilities. Stewart has played that role in multiple “X-Men” movies since 2000, but in “Logan” the character is older and his mental abilities are deteriorating. It’s a powerful emotional showcase for Stewart, a respected veteran actor of stage and screen who has never been nominated for an Oscar. The Best Supporting Actor Oscar race often favors veterans — Jack Palance in “City Slickers” (1991), Morgan Freeman in “Million Dollar Baby” (2004), and Christopher Plummer in “Beginners” (2011) just to name a few — so Stewart might seem like a slam dunk for a nomination were it not for the fact that “Logan” is a comic book movie, which Oscar voters often turn up their noses at.

But movies based on comics aren’t unprecedented at the Oscars in acting races. Al Pacino earned a Best Supporting Actor bid for “Dick Tracy” (1990), which was based on a 1930s comic strip character. Paul Newman contended in the same category for “Road to Perdition” (2002), which not everyone may realize was based on a series of graphic novels. And Heath Ledger won that award posthumously for his iconic performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” (2008). Based on that track record it looks like Stewart is in exactly the right category to make a push for his first Oscar nom.

And looking beyond the world of comics, sci-fi and fantasy films have periodically been recognized for their acting over the years, from Sigourney Weaver in “Aliens” (1986), to Ian McKellen in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001), to Matt Damon in “The Martian” (2015), among others. So this really could start Stewart on the road to the Oscars.

What do you think? We interviewed Stewart about “Logan” this past spring. Watch that in-depth chat below, and make your Critics’ Choice predictions here.

Be sure to make your Critics’ Choice predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on January 11. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Critics’ Choice Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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