Movies based on comic books haven’t had the best track record of winning one of those little golden guy statuettes. The Academy is notoriously stingy at even recognizing genre films. The handful that has won recognition have mostly come from the categories of Best Visual Effects or Best Makeup.
Only one Academy Award has ever been given to an actor in a comic book movie. While Heath Ledger absolutely deserved the Best Supporting Actor award in 2008 for his portrayal of the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ there is still a cloud of uncertainty around the honor. Would he still have won if not for the tragic circumstances surrounding the role?
Regardless -the point remains- comic book movies are not generally recognized by the Academy.
Yet, if any comic book movie is going to break this string of non-recognition, my money is on Underwater Welder. And it hasn’t even begun production yet.
Underwater Welder is a New York Times best-selling graphic novel. Written and drawn by Jeff Lemire, it tells the story of expectant father Jack Joseph who works as a diver on an offshore oil rig completing dangerous underwater repairs.
It is a story about relationships and time. It looks at how our past informs our future. How the relationships with our family are the building blocks and stumbling blocks for every relationship that comes after. It is about fathers and sons. And the depths that those relationships reach.
Optioned by entertainment company Anonymous Content and actor Ryan Gosling in March of 2017, it is exactly the type of story that the Academy loves. While there has been no announcement yet as to when the movie might go into production, it is widely believed that Ryan Gosling will star.
Gosling brings an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe ‘best actor’ win for his part in the wonderful ‘La La Land’. He is exactly the person that could bring Jack Joseph to life and give his struggles true depth and meaning. Though just as much hangs on the choice of whoever they cast to play young Jack.
Yeah… Avengers: Infinity War will make a bazillion dollars at the box office. But Underwater Welder has the potential to make cinema history.
Remember, I called it here first. Underwater Welder: Best Picture 2019.