Summary

  • MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 continued Marvel’s Oscar losing streak in VFX, losing to Godzilla Minus One at the Oscars 2024.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had an impressive budget of $250 million, showcasing memorable sequences like the corridor fight.
  • The lack of an Oscar win for MCU in VFX feels improbable given the worlds created, but perhaps the bar is set too high for recognition.



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The Oscars 2024 ceremony has unfortunately confirmed the continuation of an incredible losing streak for the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3′s loss. While James Gunn’s final MCU movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and deserved its nomination, its loss to Godzilla Minus One continued a 14 movie streak that Marvel Studios would probably like to forget.


This year’s Visual Effects Oscar nominations included a bold sci-fi in The Creator, Ridley’s Scott’s epic Napoleon, and fancied favorite Godzilla Minus One. With a budget of around $250 million (even before marketing), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 had a lot of money to play with in the VFX department and it showed. The corridor fight sequence set to “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by Beastie Boys was a stand-out in an impressive year. But even that sequence, which is one of the MCU’s most memorable set-pieces, couldn’t stop the MCU’s latest VFX loss. When you consider the data associated with the Marvel movie timeline, it looks all too stark.

2024 Oscars Visual Effects Nominations

Movie Title

Nominated Talent

The Creator

Jay Cooper, Ian Comley, Andrew Roberts, Neil Corbould

Godzilla Minus One

Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi, Tatsuji Nojima

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Stephane Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot, Guy Williams, Theo Bialek

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Alex Wuttke, Simone Coco, Jeff Sutherland, Neil Corbould

Napoleon

Charley Henley, Luc-Ewen Martin-Fenouillet, Simone Coco, Neil Corbould


Related

All Marvel Movies Nominated For Oscars & How Many They’ve Won

Marvel has had a decades-long run of critically and commercially successful movies, but their history at the Academy Awards may be surprising.


The MCU Has Never Won A Visual Effects Oscar In 14 Attempts

A Record Nobody At Marvel Studios Wanted Continues

When Iron Man was nominated for an Oscar in 2009, few people could have suspected that 15 years later, the sprawling shared universe it kicked off would have failed to win a single VIsual Effects Oscar. In all honesty, the MCU’s VFX hasn’t always been the highest standard, with questions over uneven CG characters and action sequences, but for the most part, what the MCU has done for achievements in visual effects cannot be downplayed. Highlights include entire characters rendered in full CG from Josh Brolin’s Thanos to Paul Bettany’s Vision, once-unfeasible action sequences like Avengers: Endgame‘s famous scene, and individual special effects like Doctor Strange’s magical powers.


Justice was partly served when 14 of the MCU’s movies were nominated for Best Visual Effects, but in every case, another movie’s VFX team walked away with the gold. Even when multiple MCU movies were nominated in the same year, the success never came:

All MCU Best Visual Effects Oscar Nominees

Movie Title

Year Nominated

What Won Instead?

Iron Man

2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Iron Man 2

2011

Inception

The Avengers

2013

Life of Pi

Iron Man 3

2014

Gravity

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2015

Interstellar

Guardians of the Galaxy

2015

Interstellar

Doctor Strange

2017

The Jungle Book

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

2018

Blade Runner 2049

Avengers: Infinity War

2019

First Man

Avengers: Endgame

2020

1917

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

2022

Dune

Spider-Man: No Way Home

2022

Dune

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

2023

Avatar: The Way of Water

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

2024


Considering the amount of money pumped into the MCU since its inception and the important role special effects plays in the magic of Marvel’s movie-making journey, for there to not be a single Oscar win feels impossible. That, of course, is not to take anything away from the achievements of the winners – or any of the nominees that also missed out – but in a pure numbers game, the odds feel improbable. Perhaps the bar set by worlds created entirely from scratch, where gods, aliens, and monsters walk hand-in-hand so casually is just too high. To paraphrase a Disney supervillain from another world, when everyone is special, nobody is.

Guardians Vol 3 sb poster

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The conclusion to the trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, will see the Guardians on one final adventure together as they face off with the powerful Adam Warlock – one of the most significant threats the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen. To protect a friend and their world as they know it, Peter Quill and his allies will band together to save one of their own and the galaxy from certain doom.

Release Date
May 5, 2023

Runtime
116 Minutes


Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 Was Nominated For The Wrong Oscar Anyway

What, No Love For Counter-Earth?!

Despite the Visual Effects loss to Godzilla Minus One, James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 team can perhaps think themselves more aggrieved that there was no nomination – and obviously no win – for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. In the key Counter-Earth-set sequence, Vol. 3 broke the record for the most makeup appliances used in a single film with more than 23,000 prosthetics used on more than 1,000 actors. While other nominees this year had individual achievements with more subtle brilliance, perhaps, that level of application is simply incredible.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 broke the record held by
The Grinch.


Even beyond the Counter-Earth residents, who were all rendered incredibly well, the prosthetics and make-up used on the likes of Drax (Dave Bautista), The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), and others were surely worthy of nomination. Again, the fact that so much was achieved over the entire Guardians franchise could perverely have worked against the movie’s claim.

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