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ADG Nominations Improve Oscar Chances for ‘Elvis,’ ‘The Fabelmans,’ ‘Avatar’

Prior to the Oscar nominations, the ADG positioned five past Academy Award winners as the frontrunners.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

 IndieWire The Craft Top of the Line

This article contains IndieWire’s preliminary Best Production Design predictions for the 2023 Oscars, originally published January 10, 2023. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season, and republish previous versions (like this one) for readers to track changes in how the Oscar race has changed. For the latest update on the frontrunners for the 95th Academy Awards, see our 2023 Oscars predictions hub.

Nominations voting is from January 12-17, 2023, with official Oscar nominations announced January 24, 2023. Final voting is March 2-7, 2023. And finally, the 95th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT. We update predictions through awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2023 Oscar picks.
“Elvis,” “The Fabelmans,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Babylon,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and “Nope” were all nominated January 9 for the 27th ADG Awards (to be held February 18 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel).

Additional ADG nominees for excellence in production design for period, fantasy, and contemporary features included “White Noise,” “The Batman,” “Bullet Train,” “TÁR,” and “Top Gun: Maverick.” Taken as a whole, this is shaping up to be the most competitive race in years.

There are five previous Oscar winners in contention, most of whom seem well-positioned as frontrunners: Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby,” “Moulin Rouge!”), who, along with co-production supervisor Karen Murphy, chronicled Elvis Presley’s (Austin Butler) surreal journey to superstardom in kaleidoscopic fashion for Baz Luhrmann’s delirious “Elvis”; Rick Carter (“Lincoln,” “Avatar”), who cracked the Steven Spielberg code for the director’s cinematic memoir, “The Fabelmans”; Hannah Beachler (“Black Panther”), who tapped Mayan cultural references for the Talokan underwater civilization for “Wakanda Forever”; Eugenio Caballero (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), who visually explored Mexico City as a wildly imaginative blurring of reality and memory for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s semi-autobiographical “Bardo”; and Rick Heinrichs (“Sleepy Hollow”), who designed the titular glass dome and the eclectic art collection contained inside the villa for Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion.”

Beyond that, with period films typically dominating the category, is there room for “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which was the craft shortlist sleeper? Production designer Christian Goldbeck (“The Reader”) recreates the battlefield and maze of trenches (shot in the Czech Republic) in spectacular fashion for Edward Berger’s horror film treatment of World War I.

One also can’t help wondering if there’s even the slightest chance of Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion “Pinocchio” earning a first-ever production design nomination for a fully animated feature. (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” received a nod in 1989.) “Pinocchio” scored a nomination in the ADG animation category along with Pixar’s “Turning Red” and “Lightyear,” DreamWorks’ “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” and A24’s stop-motion “Marcel the Shell.”

And, in terms of fantasy, is there room for both “Wakanda Forever” and “The Way of Water,” in which LAFCA production design winners Dylan Cole and Ben Procter took us into uncharted Pandora territory above and below the ocean surface inhabited by the Metkayina reef people? And what about the Daniels’ surging “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which has become a Best Picture contender for A24? Production designer Jason Kisvarday achieved one of the most complex world building feats of the season for this imaginative multiverse.

Finally, with so few contemporary nominees in recent years, can Caballero follow-up his “Roma” nomination with another for “Bardo”? Or what about Heinrichs sneaking in with “Glass Onion,” or even Jeremy Hindle with “Top Gun: Maverick,” for integrating the military world and equipment so seamlessly?


“Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
“The Fabelmans” (Universal)
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Marvel/Disney)
“Avatar: The Way of Water” (20th Century Studios/Disney)
“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” (Netflix)


“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (Netflix)
“Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount)
“The Batman” (Warner Bros.)
“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
“White Noise” (Netflix)
“Babylon” (Paramount)
“Nope” (Universal)

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