What does Angela Bassett's Golden Globes win mean for Marvel?

Los Angeles, California - Hollywood glitz and glamour were out in full force at Tuesday's Golden Globe Awards, but the evening was extra special for Marvel Studios thanks to a win for Black Panther star Angela Bassett.

Angela Bassett has earned her second Golden Globes win with a win for her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Angela Bassett has earned her second Golden Globes win with a win for her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.  © Amy Sussman / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The 64-year-old earned the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

While other superhero actors have been nominated for Golden Globes before, none have won, and none were from the Marvel Cinematic Universe – with the exception of Deadpool, who may or may not be adopted into the MCU's canon (but that's a debate for another day).

The MCU has proven itself to be the top player in the superhero genre, but it continues to battle skepticism from critics of its filmmaking and acting performances.

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Though MCU projects often snag awards for special effects, sound design, and other technical elements, they have yet to make a proper dent in the acting categories.

2018's Black Panther seemed to open that door for Marvel Studios, scoring the first-ever Best Picture nomination for a superhero film at the 2019 Academy Awards. The movie also earned the cast the coveted Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Bassett's win for its sequel marked the first-ever major acting award for an individual star in a Marvel movie.

She is, of course, an incomparable talent, but could her win shape the perception of the superhero franchise overall?

What does Angela Bassett's achievement mean for the future of Marvel?

Actors in Marvel projects WandaVision (l.) and Black Panther both earned significant recognition during awards season.
Actors in Marvel projects WandaVision (l.) and Black Panther both earned significant recognition during awards season.  © Collage: Alberto E. Rodriguez / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & Sarah Morris / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Marvel movies, like many other big-budget blockbusters, are often not taken as seriously in the eyes of critics. Many argue that the superhero genre has grown tired and relies on its CGI and special effects, with recycled plots and tropes that fail to engage some audiences.

However, the MCU has proven it's more than willing to take risks and step off of the expected path.

2021's WandaVision, which was the franchise's first foray into television, was unlike any superhero project that's come before it. With campy homages to iconic sitcoms, the series poignantly explored the impact of grief, all within the context of the established superpowered universe of the MCU.

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The risks paid off, as the series scored acting nominations for its leads, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, as well as supporting star Kathryn Hahn, at the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.

While many MCU actors have received numerous acting awards and immense critical acclaim for other projects, they remain overlooked for their Marvel roles – largely because the scripts haven't typically been on par with the quality of the actors. The franchise's more recent plotlines have tackled more complex and emotional topics, and are allowing its star-studded ensembles' acting chops to truly shine.

Now, the franchise seems to be moving in the right direction, on the casting, writing, and production fronts. From buzzworthy newcomers to legends of the big screen, the MCU seems to be able to snag just about star, and the material is finally doing them justice.

Bassett's award only further proves the unbelievable amount of talent already within Marvel — the franchise just needs to continue to provide opportunities to show it off.

On this new playing field, picking up more awards season hardware is surely within reach.

Cover photo: Amy Sussman / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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