Twenty films are in the running in the Oscars visual effects category after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its longlist Tuesday. Among them are late entry “Cats” and frontrunners “Avengers: Endgame, “The Irishman,” “Gemini Man,” and “The Lion King”
The digital fur donned by Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, and James Corden in “Cats” spawned strong reactions after the trailer dropped earlier this year. But the film’s feline VFX transformations still haven’t been screened to awards voters. Questions arose last month whether the film would be finished in time for awards deadlines after members of the New York Film Critics Circle were told by the studio that it shouldn’t expect to see the film before mid-December, after the group votes this Wednesday, but the late-breaking movie is still in play in the Oscar race.
Disney is well-represented on the list of contenders, led by “The Lion King,” the all-CG photoreal breakthrough by MPC Film, and MCU installments “Avengers: Endgame” and “Captain Marvel.” Also in the running is “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” due out December 20.
Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” landed a spot on the list for its de-aged Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, which allowed the filmmaker to take viewers on a journey spanning decades.
Another film noted for its de-aging, Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man,” earned a spot on the list for its high-frame rate digital recreation of a 23-year-old Will Smith who fights 50-year-old Will Smith.
Late entry “1917,” Sam Mendes’ single-shot World War I tale, is also in the running.
The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee drafted the preliminary list for further consideration and later this month will narrow the choices down to a 10-film shortlist that will advance to nominations voting.
Nominees will be announced January 13 and the Oscars will be held February 9.
The films are listed below in alphabetical order:
“Alita: Battle Angel”
“Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Jumanji: The Next Level”
“The Lion King”
“Men in Black: International”
“Spider-Man: Far from Home”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
“Terminator: Dark Fate”