Steven Spielberg is “encouraged” that two blockbusters have finally earned Oscars recognition for Best Picture, but he thinks it’s a milestone that should’ve been hit “years ago” by The Dark Knight.
The awards show takes place on Sunday (12 March), with blockbuster hits Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water among the 10 films vying for the top prize.
Recent Golden Globe winner, Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, is also in the Best Picture category. Find the full list of Oscar nominees here.
Following the announcement of the nominees in January, the award-winning director spoke with Deadline about his feelings towards seeing Joseph Kosinski’s and James Cameron’s breakthrough hits on the list.
“I’m really encouraged by that,” Spielberg said. “[But] it came late for the film that should have been nominated a number of years ago, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
“That movie would have definitely garnered a Best Picture Nomination today, so having these two blockbusters solidly presented on the top 10 list is something we should all be celebrating.”
Nolan’s Christian Bale-led Batman film, starring the late Heath Ledger as Joker, earned a total of eight nods at the 2009 Oscars.
It went on to win two of them, with Ledger landing Best Supporting Actor and Richard King honoured for Best Sound Editing.
However, it was shut out of the Best Picture race, with Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire overtaking The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Reader to win.
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This year’s Oscar awards are set to broadcast live from the Los Angeles Dolby Theatre on 12 March, beginning at 8pm EST on ABC.
You can catch up on the biggest talking points from the Oscars nominations, including the seven biggest snubs and surprises here.
And find out where to watch all the Best Picture nominations here.