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SAG nominations: Marvel Studios cleans up in the often overlooked stunt category

SAG nominations: Marvel Studios cleans up in the often overlooked stunt category
The Wasp/Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) appear in a scene from Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man and the Wasp." (Ben Rothstein / Marvel Studios)

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.”

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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.

A corresponding award is also given out in television, with this year’s nominees being “Glow,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” “The Walking Dead” and “Westworld.”

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