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TSR Blog: Which Summer Superhero Movie Has the Most Oscar Power?

Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Captain America: The First Avenger ... we have superheros coming. The other day I went to the movies (Hanna if you must know) and saw trailers for three superhero movies coming out in the next three months. But what I noticed was how many Oscar winning stars are slumming for the big bucks. Or, maybe they're making awesome movies awesomer, depending how this crop turns out. So I wondered, what movie has the biggest Oscar bang for it's buck.

Thor's being released first, on May 6th. It features the most recent Oscar winner on the list, Natalie Portman. Besides her win for Black Swan, she also has a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2005's Closer. Anthony Hopkins is on board too, as Thor's angry daddy, Odin. He won for 1992's Silence of the Lambs. But since then, he's racked up three more Best Actor noms, two for lead in The Remains of the Day (1993) and Nixon (1995) and one for supporting in 1997's Amistad.

The last one is sort of iffy, Jeremy Renner's listed on both IMDB and Wikipedia as an"uncredited" actor in the film. I imagine he'll be in the "secret scene" after the credits that will tease toward the upcoming Avengers movie. But he has two Oscar noms so far, Best Actor for The Hurt Locker (2010) and Best Supporting for The Town.

That gives Thor 2 wins and 8 noms. Not bad.

X-Men: First Class arrives a month later, on June 3rd. The cast looks great, with some actors who've done amazing work in the last few years, Michael Fassbender from Hunger and Inglorious Basterds and James McAvoy who starred alongside nominees in The Last King of Scotland and Atonement. But the only nominee in the whole film is Jennifer Lawrence for last year's Winter's Bone.

So X-Men: First Class has one lonely nom.

Two Weeks later, Green Lantern comes out. Hopefully Ryan Reynolds' suit will look less creepy in the film than it does in the trailer. This film has some serious Oscar talent, but unfortunately they're further down on the credit list. Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clark Duncan both just have voices featured in the film, presumably for animated alien members of the Lantern Corps. Rush has an Oscar for Best Actor from 1996's Shine. He also got noms as Best Supporting Actor in last year's The King's Speech (you may remember that one) and 1998's Shakespeare in Love. He also has an a nom for Best Lead from 2000's Quills. Duncan has one Best Supporting Actor nomination from 1999's The Green Mile.

Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett also have small roles. Robbins has two Oscar noms, though I'm only going to count his 2003 Best Supporting Actor win for Mystic River. His other nod was for Best Director for 1995's Dead Man Walking. I don't want to touch any non-acting nods because where will it end then??? Bassett of course got a nomination for her turn as Tina Turner in What's Love Got To Do With It.

Green Lantern surprises with 2 wins and 7 nominations.

The superhero orgy ends with Captain America: The First Avenger on July 22nd. Since the last trailer, my hopes are really high for this one. But that's not based on Oscar glory, this film only has two nominees in it, Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci. Jones won Best Supporting for The Fugitive in in 1994. He also got nominations for Supporting Actor in 1992's JFK and Lead Actor for In the Valley of Elah in 2007. Tucci, despite his breadth of work only has one nomination, Best Supporting Actor for The Lovely Bones.

Captain America has one Oscar win and four nominations going for it.

Thor wins as the film with the most Oscar nominated actors in it. But what will that mean in terms of box office and reviews? Most likely nothing. But hey, maybe I'll come back when the summer's over, do some calculating and see if there's anything to it after all.







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