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Visual effects Oscar contenders include ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘The Last Jedi’

It’s officially Oscars season once again and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 20 films in the running for nominations in the “Best Visual Effects” category at the 90th Academy Awards. Among the films are sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which hits theaters December 15.

The Academy revealed its shortlist for the visual effects category this week, and indicated that the list of potential visual effects Oscar nominees will be shortened to 1o films by the end of December. Those 10 films will then advance to the nomination voting stage of the Academy’s selection process.

The final list of Visual Effects nominees will be announced with the rest of the Academy Awards nominations on January 23.

The 20 films on the initial shortlist of potential Visual Effects nominees include (in alphabetical order):

Alien: Covenant

Beauty and the Beast

Blade Runner 2049


Ghost in the Shell

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Justice League

Kong: Skull Island




Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The Shape of Water

Spider-Man Homecoming

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Thor: Ragnarok

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

War for the Planet of the Apes

Wonder Woman

The broadcast for the 90th Academy Awards ceremony will kick off March 4 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will return as the ceremony’s host, making him just the second consecutive-years host since Billy Crystal emceed the 1997 and 1998 ceremonies.

The ceremony was pushed back from the event’s usual February air date in order to avoid conflict with broadcasts of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Last year’s Oscar for visual effects was won by Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, which won a competitive category that also included oil-rig disaster movie Deepwater Horizon, Marvel’s reality-bending superhero film Doctor Strange, stop-motion animated adventure Kubo and the Two Strings, and sci-fi prequel film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Digital Trends profiled all five nominees in our annual “Oscar Effects” series.

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