James Wan Responds to Aquaman’s VFX Oscar Snub

Last month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences narrowed its list of films competing for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects Oscar down to 10 entries. Though all three of Marvel Studios’ 2018 offerings made the cut, Warner Bros.’ Aquaman was conspicuously absent from the list. And no one seems to be more upset about this than the film’s director, James Wan.

Via The Wrap, Wan expressed his displeasure with the recent news in a Facebook comment two weeks ago. Wan was replying to a post from Aquaman visual effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain, who congratulated Wan on the film’s release. The director didn’t hesitate to praise McIlwain and his team’s efforts while also taking aim at the Academy itself. “Kelvin, you and your department are the unsung heroes of this film,” wrote Wan. “The fact that your VFX peers in the Academy aren’t recognizing or appreciating what we/you’ve all contributed to the film and cinema is a f***ing disgrace.”

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In Wan’s defense, a big part of Aquaman’s success is due to the way it depicts Arthur Curry’s Atlantean homeworld. The undersea kingdom’s large scope stands in stark contrast to the sci-fi and fantasy genres’ frequent visits to outer space. Moreover, Atlantis’ vibrant colors has led several viewers to compare it to other cinematic locales, including Avatar’s Pandora. Unfortunately, the Academy doesn’t seem to share the public’s enthusiasm for Aquaman. Regardless, Aquaman is still on track to become Warner Bros.’ first billion-dollar release since The Dark Knight Rises.

Other films that survived the latest round of the Oscar nomination process include Christopher Robin, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ready Player One, First Man, Mary Poppins Returns, and Welcome to Marwen. This weekend, the Academy’s visual effects branch will view 10-minute excerpts from each film and narrow the list down to five nominees. This part of the process is commonly referred to as the VFX bake-off.

What are your thoughts on Aquaman not landing an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects? Give us your take in the comment section below!