The nomination comes one year after Marvel Studios’ Black Panther made Oscars history by being the first comic book movie to earn a best picture nomination. A decade earlier, Heath Ledger posthumously took home the supporting actor Oscar for playing Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), but the film was snubbed in the best picture category. This sparked an outcry that was in part credited with the Academy expanding the best picture race from five to ten nominees the following year.
The Oscar nominations follow a big January for Joker. On Sunday, it won two Critics’ Choice Awards, and on Jan. 5, Joker took home two Golden Globes, the most of any comic book movie ever. Joaquin Phoenix won for best performance by actor in a motion picture – drama; and composer Hildur Gudnadóttir received the Globe for best original score – motion picture.
Ahead of its release, Joker was embroiled in controversy, after families of victims killed in a 2012 mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado screening of The Dark Knight Rises raised concerns the film could inspire violence.
Joker opened in October incident and overperformed at the box office by taking in more than $1 billion, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. Phillips and Phoenix are likely to reteam for a sequel.