The First Super Hero Movie To Win A Major Oscar (Producing, Directing, Writing, Or Acting) Was?
Answer: The Dark Knight
2008’s Batman adaptation, The Dark Knight, was one of the best received super hero films of all time. A combination of excellent screenwriting, excellent direction, and of course excellent performances by the top-tier actors such as Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman, created a summer blockbuster that has brought home over a billion dollars in box office revenues.
The film was so well received by fans and critics alike that it garnered 178 film award nominations around the world and won 103 of them. The film took home awards for everything film-related under the sun including practically sweeping the Golden Trailer Awards, winning the MTV Movie Awards Best Villain, nearly sweeping the People’s Choice Awards, taking home over half the Scream Awards, winning over a dozen film guild awards like Best Stunt Coordinator at the World Stunt Awards and multiple awards from the Visual Effects Society.
To say that the entire cast and crew was completely on point for the production of The Dark Knight would be an understatement because reading over the list of nominations and awards bestowed upon the film really highlights the enormous amount of talent involved in the film and seen on screen in the final product. Everyone from the director to the actors to the sound editors to the people crafting the costumes and sets received nominations, awards, or both.
What really puts The Dark Knight on the map though, for the people who don’t follow the World Stunts Awards or check out what sound editors are hot this year at the Motion Picture Sound Editors awards, is that Heath Ledger, in the role of The Joker, took home the first major academy award for a super hero film. His Oscar for Best Supporting Actor marked the first time a super hero film had won any of what are considered the “major” Oscars (which encompass producing, directing, writing, and acting) and in doing so, we can easily argue, set the stage for the genre as a whole to be taken more seriously.
Image courtesy of Warner Brothers.