Ben Affleck has an unusual Oscar track record. He’s best known for his work as an actor and director, but he has never actually been nominated in those capacities. Instead, he won Best Original Screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and then Best Picture as a producer of “Argo” (2012). But as unique as those Oscar stats are, Jordan Peele could actually repeat that feat since he already has a writing Oscar under his belt and could win a second prize as a producer of “BlacKkKlansman.”
Peele made history last year with three nominations for the horror film/social satire “Get Out“: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He was only the fifth black filmmaker ever to be nominated for directing, the fourth to be nominated for an original script, and the first ever to be nominated for writing, directing and producing in a single year. He won the writing prize, which made him the first black winner in that category.
It’s ironic that trailblazing black auteur Spike Lee has never earned an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He only has two nominations to his name: Best Original Screenplay for “Do the Right Thing” (1989) and Best Documentary Feature for “4 Little Girls” (1997). He received an Honorary Oscar for his body of work in 2016, but he has yet to win one competitively. So it’s fitting that last year’s ground-breaker Peele could help Lee to his own triple-crown nominations for writing, directing and producing, and maybe his first competitive win in one or all of those races. And in the process Lee would help his fellow producer Peele win his second Oscar in as many years.
We underestimated “BlacKkKlansman” earlier this season, but it has consistently over-performed relative to our expectations. It earned four Golden Globe nominations including Best Film Drama, four Critics’ Choice nominations including Best Picture, and three SAG Award nominations including a surprise bid for its ensemble cast. It’s one of the few films remaining that hasn’t yet missed at the most crucial precursors. Now it’s in the top five in our combined Best Picture predictions with 19/2 odds. Three of our Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores betting on last year’s Oscar nominations, think it will win Best Picture. So do two of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ nominations forecasts.
“BlacKkKlansman” is the current Oscar front-runner for Best Adapted Screenplay, so perhaps it will make history twice over, with both Lee and Peele becoming the first black artists to win as both writers and producers.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.