Movies & TV / Columns

411 Movies/TV Fact or Fiction: Will Black Panther Be Able to Earn a Best Picture Nomination?

August 31, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Black Panther Chadwick Boseman

Welcome back to 411 Movies Fact or Fiction! We’re back for another week of movie and television debates. This week, we have the Fact or Fiction administers past and present doing battle as the one and only Ben Piper goes one on one with — well, me, Jeremy Thomas! Let’s jump right in.

Marvel’s hopes aside, Black Panther isn’t likely to get a Best Picture nomination.

Ben Piper: FACT. Don’t get me wrong, as a lifelong Marvel fanboy I would love to see it be recognized, but I don’t see it breaking the glass ceiling. After all if The Dark Knight didn’t get nominated as it rightly should have, what chance does Black Panther have? Sure Black Panther is a very well made movie that has become a bit of a cultural landmark, but so was TDK at the time. The best hope the movie has to get nominations in any of the major categories would be in the newly announced “Best Popular Film” the Academy is proposing, and even that still kinda feels like being relegated to the ‘kid’s table’.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT. I applaud Disney’s ambition here, but I think they’re going to have to settle for “Best Popular Film.” I love Black Panther and I think that it is a stellar piece of filmmaking, but I also feel like Best Popular Film is being created as a way to “Golden Globes” the Academy Awards — in other words, let the big films bring the ratings in — while keeping Best Picture “pure” from genre movies. While getting Panther a Best Picture nod would be a hell of a coup by Disney, I just don’t feel like it’s going to happen.

A television series is the right direction to take the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

Ben Piper: FACT. Absolutely. Recent years have shown us that popular horror franchises have viable legs when it comes to TV. (Ash Vs. The Evil Dead, Hannibal, Bates Motel, etc.) If they can find the right showrunner to tackle the franchise with fresh eyes and a unique approach to the source material while still being respectful to what came before, I have little doubt that something like this could work. It’s all a matter of finding the right person for the job. Suggestions, anyone.

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION. Horror is doing some great things on television in the last several years. American Horror Story is the most obvious example, but there are also things like Ash vs. Evil Dead, Bates Motel, The Walking Dead, Penny Dreadful and so on. That said, Texas Chainsaw isn’t a property I think has long-term narrative viability. The strength of the Leatherface-led franchise is in the Sawyer Family, and a TV show generally has to find an element of sympathy in its main characters. Outside of certain interpretations of Leatherface himself, there isn’t any sympathy in the Sawyers. I could see Legendary doing a prequel-type series focusing on a young Leatherface, but again I don’t know how much that can work. Leatherface doesn’t have the psychological complexity of Norman Bates — and let’s face it, Bates Motel lucked out by getting Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. Could this work? Yes. Will it if it happens? I have serious doubts.

Kin will be quickly forgotten amidst the pack of other lower-budget science fiction films released so far this year.

Ben Piper: FACT. I hadn’t even heard of the movie until I was sent this question. Upon viewing the trailer I did think it looked interesting, had actors that I liked and a somewhat original story to tell, but realistically there wasn’t anything that made me say ‘wow’ or ‘I need to see that posthaste’. Nothing abut it really stood out and grabbed my attention and I’m betting that most moviegoers may very well agree with me. I’ll wait until it’s on Netflix.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT. I saw the main trailer several times at theaters, and my reaction was consistently “meh.” There are some decent elements here, sure. I think that Jonathan and Josh Baker have an interesting mish-mash of grounded and pure sci-fi, and I like the cast. But the story seems very flat and I’m not sure about the overall visual tone. I could easily be surprised by this, but I expect it will be a pleasant but mediocre sci-fi action drama that few people will remember bny the end of the year.


CBS is smart to end The Big Bang Theory after the upcoming season.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT. I know this was Jim Parson’s decision, but CBS could have easily thrown a truckload of money at enough of the rest of the cast to continue on. And they were wise not to. Big Bang Theory was a bit long in the tooth several seasons ago, but the network wanted it to keep going because it was the best ratings thing they had going. Now that Young Sheldon has launched and become a hit, that isn’t quite as necessary. Chuck Lorre has maintained these characters without much real character growth (marriage and children aren’t growth if the characters don’t change) for too long, and I think the show was in the midst of a slow downward slide in every factor. Ending it while things are on still top was the smart move.

Ben Piper: FICTION. From what I understand, it wasn’t CBS’ call. The network was prepared to line up Brink trucks full of money to the cast members to sign them up for an additional two seasons, but Jim Parsons decided he didn’t want to continue to do the show and apparently, that’s that. And good for him, he doesn’t need the money, and is interested in doing other things like acting on Broadway. I’m sure it’s a bitter pill for the show’s fans, but better to go out guns blazing than run out of ammo completely.

But as far as CBS goes, they would have been perfectly content to keep the show going for another two years as it is the most popular network comedy right now. I’m sure they don’t want it to end just yet.

The new Suspiria trailer has you looking forward to seeing the film.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT. I am a huge Dario Argento fan and Suspiria is a big reason for that. I was skeptical about the idea of remaking this film for years. Argento made such a particular, unique horror film that I felt any attempt to redo it would be a pale imitation at best. However, Luca Guadagnino has won me over with the trailers. I really like the cast here and am excited to let Dakota Johnson prove she’s not just the Fifty Shades of Grey girl. The tone of the trailers is perfect, going their own way but staying true to the original in just the right ways. This could still go very poorly, but I am excited to see it.

Ben Piper: FACT. First, an admission; I’ve never seen the 1977 original film. Unlike the trailer for Kin I mentioned before, the one for Suspiria not only grabbed my attention, it seized it. The unsettling tone it begins with before finally starting to lean into the nightmarish images… wow. Now THAT’s how you do a trailer. I do love a good horror movie, but usually they are so few and far in between, that when one like this sticks out it does so big time. Sign me up!

The CW’s Charmed reboot doesn’t interest you.

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION. I won’t say there’s a ton of interest from me, but there is a little. I wasn’t a big Charmed fan, but I enjoyed the first couple of seasons before it really lost its way amidst budget cuts, other network interference and a reliance on “monster/gimmick of the week” episodes. This looks like a nice way to start things over. Melonie Diaz is an actress that I have really enjoyed, and EP Jennie Snyder Urman previously pleasantly surprised me in a very big way with Jane the Virgin. I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt, at least through the first few episodes.

Ben Piper: FACT. The premise alone should’ve been enough to get me hooked on the original. Three sisters discover that they’re powerful witches and have to work together to ward off supernatural threats. Boom, I’m there. But for whatever reason, Charmed just never was my cup of tea. A watched a handful of early episodes when they first aired and just never could get into it. Maybe it was the Aaron Spelling lineage, maybe it was Shannon Doherty, who knows? The rumored Buffy reboot/sequel series on the other hand?

And there you have it. Thanks to Ben for participating, and we’ll see you all next week!