SAG Awards nominee profile: ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ can extend trend of sequels winning for stunts

For the past two years in a row, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Film Stunt Ensemble has gone to sequels of movies that previously conquered the category, with “Wonder Woman 1984” and “No Time to Die” emulating “Wonder Woman” and “Skyfall,” respectively. Now, the trend could continue if “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” takes the prize just like “Black Panther” did in 2019. Its inclusion in this year’s lineup already means that, along with “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Avengers: Endgame,” every Marvel film featuring the Black Panther character has earned a stunts nomination from the guild.

After beginning with the death and subsequent mourning of Wakandan King T’Challa (previously played by the late Chadwick Boseman), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” shifts focus to his sister, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), who initially sees no point in trying to create a new Black Panther to replace her brother. Her mind begins to change, however, when her people come to require protection from the subterranean Talokanil, who target Wakanda after experiencing casualties in the avaricious worldwide hunt for vibranium.

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More than 50 of the stunt performers in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” also contributed to its parent film’s victory in this category. Almost as many worked on “Avengers: Endgame,” which triumphed here in 2020. Other winners of this award that appear on the resumes of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” stunt team members are “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “The Dark Knight,” “Star Trek,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” A few more also worked on TV stunt ensemble honorees “Heroes” and “True Blood.”

The second “Black Panther” film is one of three sequels competing for this year’s stunt ensemble award, with the other two being “Avatar: The Way of Water” (following 2009’s “Avatar”) and “Top Gun: Maverick” (1986’s “Top Gun”). 2018’s “Black Panther” is the only one of those three original movies that was nominated here itself. Rounding out the lineup are “The Batman,” which derives from the same basic source material as 2009 winner “The Dark Knight,” and total standalone film “The Woman King.”

The films that have prevailed in this category most recently are “No Time to Die” (2022), “Wonder Woman 1984” (2021), “Avengers: Endgame” (2020), and “Black Panther” (2019).

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