There is a meme running around on the social medias, declaring that "2018 has been SO LONG OF A YEAR," with a reminder that Black Panther was released at the beginning of it. This seems frightening in context- it really does feel this set of months has stretched far past a normal set of 12.
But this also means that Black Panther is still fresh in our minds and hearts, as well as a talking point we're not done with yet. Neither is Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige, as it seems he's still talking about the record-breaking Oscar-worthy superhero film that transcends the genre.
In a recent producer roundtable session from The Hollywood Reporter, Feige answered some questions about the producer side of his normal work gig, and of course, Black Panther. In this case, the "amazing support" of Disney's Bob Iger and Alan Horn, something that we've assumed, but nice to hear/read confirmation of this:
THR: Two big studio movies this year, Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, featured really diverse casts. Was there a big fight you had to take on to get these two movies made?
FEIGE: We had Black Panther on our schedule for a while. (Laughter.) We had amazing support, Bob Iger and Alan Horn at no point questioned it. Quite the opposite: They said, "This needs to stand alongside the biggest movies you've made." It had a budget that matched that. At no point was there a question about this market or that market or where does it play. It was a big movie that we were going to make with an almost entirely African and African-American cast.
This was followed up by an "inclusion rider" question:
THR: When we're talking about diversity in Hollywood, a big topic of conversation has been the idea of an inclusion rider. What do you think of putting a representation requirement in writing?
FEIGE: Well, one question really is: Should people be forced to do it? And maybe the answer is yes, maybe the answer is no. If you're in a position of power and you're the one doing the hiring, we have learned — on our last number of movies and a number of movies that haven't come out or haven't been announced — that the more diverse the group of people around the table, the better the movie. [Black Panther director] Ryan Coogler actually said, "Do you have production designers, costume designers that you like to work with?" And we said, "Sure, but if you have some let us know." And he said, "Well, I've worked with various people on films that were excellent but much smaller than Black Panther." And in the case of every single crewmember that he brought to us, they blew us away, they were incredible. And it was because we were open to listening and giving people an opportunity. And now, you know, we're desperate to work with them all on all of our films going forward.
Okay, but what about the possibility of Black Panther for Best Picture at the Oscars?
THR: This year we almost had a new category at the Academy Awards, the popular Oscar. What were your thoughts when this was announced and during the uproar that made it go away?
FEIGE: Black Panther came up a lot in those conversations. But — a testament to Disney and to everyone involved — we just kept talking about best picture.
We're hoping we see the film get at least a Best Picture nod come Oscars nominations.