The Academy has narrowed down the list of contenders in the Oscars’ Best Visual Effects category to 20, with most of the expected VFX heavy hitters now competing for a spot on the 10-film shortlist that will be announced the week of Dec. 12.
The list of 20 includes “The Jungle Book,” which consists of a cast of largely computer-generated animals, as well as the comic book films “Doctor Strange,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
Also on the list: “Rogue One,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “The BFG” and “Passengers.”
The most surprising entry on the list is Laika’s stop-motion animated epic “Kubo and the Two Strings,” which is the first animated film to advance in the Oscar VFX race.
Among the films missing from the list are two well-received movies that feature kids who befriend huge CG creatures, “A Monster Calls” and “Pete’s Dragon.”
The list of films was determined by the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee. That same committee will now narrow the list to 10, and excerpts from those 10 will be screened for all members of the branch to determine the five nominees.
Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and the Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 26.
The eligible VFX contenders:
“Alice through the Looking Glass”
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”
“Captain America: Civil War”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Independence Day: Resurgence”
“The Jungle Book”
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”
“Star Trek Beyond”
7 New Things We Learned from Final 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Trailer (Photos)
1. No mystery box for "Rogue One" The trailers for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" were notoriously irritating for their complete lack of plot details -- you could watch all its trailers and have no real idea of what it was about. That mystery box isn't present for "Rogue One," though, and we're thankful for it. I'm sure there will be surprises along the way, but kudos to Disney for not pretending all basic plot information constitues a spoiler the way the "The Force Awakens" marketing did.
2. It's gonna have at least one flashback This is a relatively new phenomenon in "Star Wars" movies, but "The Force Awakens" had one and now "Rogue One" does as well -- that's two of two in the Disney era. This one will take us back to the hero Jyn Erso's (Felicity Jones) childhood on Space Iceland or whatever that planet is called, where we'll see the Imperial Director Krennic call on Jyn's father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) to help build the grandest of all Imperial weapons: the Death Star. There will be more on this in the "Rogue One" prequel novel, "Catalyst," which will be out in November.
3. We finally got a good look at Mads Mikkelson Speaking of Galen, we actually see him in this trailer -- he was conspicuously absent from all the previous marketing materials. He looks... perfectly normal, which is a bit of a surprise because Mikkelsen was also held back from Entertainment Weekly's big character reveal earlier this year for reasons unknown. I guess I was expecting there to be some spoilery reason for the lack of a previous reveal. But now we see him, and it is good.
4. The Rebels are gonna break Jyn Erso out of jail The new trailer appears loaded with first act stuff (as it should be). We see Jyn being held in what appears to be Imperial custody when the Rebels (specifically that guy in the picture) break in and get her out in order to recruit her for their big mission to steal the Death Star plans. And other dialogue tells us that her family connection to that mechanical monstrosity is the reason she's being chosen to lead said mission.
5. The "Rogue One" callsign is improvised "They are requesting a callsign," says the droid member of the squad, K-2S0 (Alan Tudyk). In reply, Riz Ahmed's Bodhi Rook seems to make one up off the top of his head: Rogue One. And that's the title of the movie! It speaks to the sort of slapdash nature of the Rebellion, so I have no complaints.
6. There's gonna be a big space battle Something a lot of folks thought was pretty weird about "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was its lack of really anything eventful happening in space -- all the big starship battles actually happened in planetary atmospheres. We hadn't seen any space battles in the "Rogue One" trailers either, until this one showed us some X-Wings in a battle around a space station. Good, good.
7. Did we just see what it looks like from ground level when the Death Star shoots a planet? This is speculation, based on this single shot from the trailer. That massive explosion on a desert planet (probably the Jedi holy world of Jedha) could be caused by anything, but my money is on the Empire testing out the Death Star's superlaser. It looks sick, whatever it is.
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The latest trailer is full of new footage, and there’s a lot to sift through