‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ would be only 2nd Marvel movie to win VFX Oscar

The first time Tobey Maguire‘s Spider-Man battled against Alfred Molina‘s Dr. Otto Octavius, the year was 2004 and the film, “Spider-Man 2,” went on to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Now, 17 years later, the duo’s long-awaited return (thanks to some multi-verse magic) in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has also been nominated in that category. Can the box office behemoth fronted by Tom Holland prevail where previous films based on Marvel comic books failed?

Marvel movies have long been shunted by the academy as nothing but popcorn fare. Indeed, they’re not nearly as pretentious or artsy as your typical Oscar nominees. Only one such film, “Black Panther” (2018), managed to reap a Best Picture nomination. The visual effects branch has been the kindest to the comic book franchise, with 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe entries earning bids. In addition, three Marvel movies not within the MCU have been recognized here: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), the original “Spider-Man” (2002) and its winning sequel “Spider-Man 2” (2004).

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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is joined in this year’s Oscar VFX line-up by fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe film “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” plus “Dune,” “Free Guy” and “No Time to Die.” (Two other MCU contenders, “Black Widow” and “Eternals,” made the Oscar shortlist but failed to score noms.)

Many awards pundits at Gold Derby are predicting “Dune” to win Best Visual Effects on Sunday, March 27, because it’s the only Best Picture nominee in the category, suggesting it has way more support within the academy at large. That would follow a recent pattern of Best Pic contenders like “1917” (2019), “Gravity” (2013), “Life of Pi” (2012), “Hugo” (2011) and “Inception” (2010) all prevailing in the special effects race.

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Here are all of the movies based on Marvel comic books to be nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar:

2019: “Avengers: Endgame” lost to “1917”

2018: “Avengers: Infinity War” lost to “First Man”

2017: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” lost to “Blade Runner 2049”

2016: “Doctor Strange” lost to “The Jungle Book”

2014: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” lost to “Interstellar”

2013: “Iron Man 3” lost to “Gravity”

2012: “The Avengers” lost to “Life of Pi”

2010: “Iron Man 2” lost to “Inception”

2008: “Iron Man” lost to “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

2004: “Spider-Man 2” won

2002: “Spider-Man” lost to “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”

PREDICT the 2022 Oscar winners through March 27

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