Marvel Studios has well and truly commenced the Oscars campaign for Avengers: Endgame, the record-breaking superhero film that the studio hopes to recreate the success of Black Panther a year ago.
According to critics who've been sent awards screeners for the film, Marvel has gone out of its way to make the epic action extravaganza appear to be a serious drama, perhaps in an effort to boost its chances at the Oscars. Tasha Robinson, critic for Polygon, tweeted a picture of the cover of the screener, and wrote, "The awards screener cover for AVENGERS: ENDGAME is a whole capital-M mood. I dig this film a lot, and it's way grimmer and more thoughtful than I was expecting." She joked, "But this still looks like the second coming of Steve McQueen's HUNGER."
Matt Jacobs of Huffington Post also tweeted a picture of the cover, and wrote, "The FYC screener for Avengers: Endgame is working very hard to make this movie seem serious." The cover is a black and white shot of Downey Jr in the sombre opening scene of the film, in which Tony Stark sends a recorded message to Pepper Potts.
Disney intends on putting together a massive campaign for Endgame, which became the highest-grossing film of all time (unadjusted for inflation) over the summer, eclipsing the previous record set by James Cameron's Avatar. It also received unanimous critical acclaim, with praise going to its handling of multiple characters, in particular Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, played by Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans.
Fans are also anticipating a serious push for a nomination for Downey Jr, who has been with the franchise since its inception, and 'retired' from the series after Endgame.
In addition to this, the studio is also pitching Downey Jr, Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Josh Brolin, Paul Rudd and Don Cheadle in the Best Supporting Actor category, and Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan and Brie Larson in the Best Supporting Actress category.