How’s this for plot twists: The R-rated superhero smash Deadpool is now a legit Oscar contender. Two days after competing for Best Picture — Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, the action movie starring Ryan Reynolds has scored another major accolade: a Best Picture nomination from the Producers Guild of America, long considered one of the best predictors of the Academy Awards’ top race.
Deadpool edged out more conventional awards-season films, such as Martin Scorsese’s Silence and Clint Eastwood’s Sully, to secure a slot in the PGA list. As Variety notes, seven of last year’s 10 PGA nominees went on to earn Best Picture nominations at the Oscars. And if you look back on lists from recent years, the PGA typically predicts seven or eight of the Academy’s Best Picture nods.
It goes beyond year-to-year comparisons, though. Deadpool has some discernible awards mojo right now. Not only did the film, helmed by visual effects ace turned director Tim Miller, score two Golden Globes nominations (Reynolds was also in the running for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy), it also won two Critics Choice Awards and earned a surprising Writers Guild Awards nomination for screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
Fox, the studio behind the movie, has quietly mounted an effective awards campaign for the film, with Reynolds at the center. The actor even penned a hilarious letter to voters urging them to consider the movie.
That’s not to say it’s a lock. The only other superhero movie to score Best Picture nominations from both the Golden Globes and the PGA? That would be Pixar’s 2004 animated hit The Incredibles, which, despite earning four Oscar nominations, did not compete for Best Picture. The PGA also tends to be friendlier to hit genre films than the Academy is; other recent PGA nominees have included Bridesmaids (2011), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Skyfall (2012) — all snubbed by the Oscars.
Still, if Deadpool does make the Oscar cut, it will owe a debt of gratitude to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Remember, it was umbrage over that 2008 film’s snub that, in part, spurred the Academy to increase the pool of films in the Best Picture race from five to what is now anywhere between five and 10. (The PGA followed suit and increased its own contenders’ list to an even 10.)
Though the change has generally benefited smaller films like Philomena (2013), Whiplash (2014), and Room (2015), we finally saw a mainstream fan favorite make the ballot last year when Mad Max: Fury Road — a blockbuster hit that, like Deadpool, was released earlier in the year — was nominated. There’s now reason to believe Deadpool could very well be in the mix when Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 24.
Watch Ryan Reynolds totally nail this fake interview: