The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences visual effects branch executive committee has picked 10 contenders to compete for the final five nominees for the 89th Academy Awards.
Frontrunner “The Jungle Book,” which advances the technology introduced in James Cameron’s “Avatar,” will likely vie for the Oscar with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which has some major VFX breakthroughs of its own. Other strong contenders include J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter” prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”
As rare as it is (“The Nightmare Before Christmas” snagged a nomination in 1994), Laika’s stop-motion animated film, “Kubo and the Two Strings,” was expected to land a slot in this category.
Snubs include “Warcraft” and “Deadpool” and surprises are Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” and Peter Berg’s disaster film, “Deepwater Horizon.” (That gives Marvel two contenders, and DC zero.)
The next phase of voting will take place at the VFX “bake-off” when all the members of the VFX branch are invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films, on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films to be announced on Oscar nominations morning January 24.
The films are listed below in alphabetical order:
“Captain America: Civil War”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“The Jungle Book”
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017 and televised live on the ABC Television Network.