The Saturn Awards this Wednesday, June 28, in Burbank, California, look like they might be a civil war between Marvel Comics heroes — not unlike, well, “Captain America: Civil War,” which earned Chris Evans a nomination for Best Actor in a Movie. Evans will have to fend off his Marvel Cinematic Universe counterpart Benedict Cumberbatch (“Doctor Strange”), as well as Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool”), who isn’t a part of the same expanded universe (MCU films are produced by Disney, “Deadpool” is from 20th Century Fox) but was nevertheless adapted from a Marvel character.
This is the third nomination in this category for Evans, who was previously nominated in 2012 for the first “Captain America” film and then in 2015 for the first sequel “The Winter Soldier.” He has yet to win. Meanwhile, Cumberbatch is nominated for the second time, following his 2014 bid for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the villainous Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
Reynolds is also looking for his first victory on his second nomination. He was previously nominated in this category in 2011 for his role in the thriller “Buried” in which he raced against time to escape from a coffin. But Reynolds has been more widely embraced for this performance. Unlike Cumberbatch and Evans, Reynolds was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as the wisecracking mercenary/hero, and he won a Critics’ Choice Award.
Of course, the three Marvel stars aren’t the only nominees in this category. They’re pitted against another Marvel hero, “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt, though in this case Pratt is in contention for the sci-fi film “Passengers.” Pratt actually won this award in 2015 for “Guardians,” so he may have a leg up on his superhero rivals, even though “Passengers” wasn’t as well received. Matthew McConaughey (“Gold”) is also a past winner. He prevailed in this category as the title hitman in “Killer Joe” in 2013, and he was nominated again in 2015 for “Interstellar.”
Oscar champ Mark Rylance is also nominated for his CGI-enhanced performance in Steven Spielberg‘s “The BFG.” The Tony winning thespian doesn’t usually appear in genre films, so this is his first Saturn nomination, but perhaps the first time is the charm. And Chris Pine is also a first-time nominee for “Star Trek Beyond,” even though this is his third film in the revived “Star Trek” franchise.
So who do you think will prevail? Bestowed by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, the 43rd annual Saturn Awards honor the best in genre fare each year. Disney’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” leads all films with 11 nominations, while “The Walking Dead” (AMC) has the most bids on the TV side at seven, followed by “Westworld” (HBO) with six.