Comic book fans, take note: While the Screen Actors Guild gave “Black Panther” a boost in its hunt for Oscar glory with its ensemble nomination Wednesday morning, that wasn't the only way in which superhero movies — and Marvel Studios in particular — shined.
In the category of outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble in a motion picture, three out of the five slots this year went to the latest Marvel movies: “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” The other two nods were scored by “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” and the Coen brothers’ comparatively smaller scale Western anthology film “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
In one swoop, the three nominations double the historic haul for Marvel Cinematic Universe films in the stunt category — which has previously included “Doctor Strange,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Iron Man,” on top of nominations that have been bestowed on other films featuring Marvel characters, such as “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “X-Men: First Class” and “Logan.”
It also means SAG-AFTRA, which presents the awards, will be one of the few organizations this season that can boast it nominated the two highest-grossing releases of 2018 to date — “Black Panther” and “Infinity War.”
An often overlooked stepchild in the SAG nominations, the action-centric stunt ensemble award (which isn’t part of the SAG telecast, and is announced shortly before all of the other awards) was introduced in 2007 as a way to shine a light on the work of stunt performers who, despite pushes over the years, have not yet cracked the Oscars.