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Oscars: 10 Films Advance in Visual Effects Race

Variety logo Variety 12/16/2016 Maane Khatchatourian
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the shortlist for the visual effects race.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “Kubo and the Two Strings” are among the 10 films to advance, the Academy announced on Friday.

Here are the movies (in alphabetical order) still in the running:

“Arrival”

“The BFG”

“Captain America: Civil War”

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Doctor Strange”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“The Jungle Book”

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Passengers”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Half of the titles are from Disney: “The BFG,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Doctor Strange,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Rogue One.”

Should “Kubo and the Two Strings” be nominated, it would be the first stop-motion title with that distinction since 1993’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Several of the titles have notable pedigrees, such as “The BFG,” which was supervised by five-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri, and “Rogue One.” Last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” nabbed a nom for the team of Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould. However, “The Force Awakens” lost the VFX Oscar to “Ex Machina.”

The eight “Harry Potter” movies have generated a total of only three VFX nominations, so “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” could end a dry spell. The team is headed by supervisors Tim Burke and Christian Manz.

Marvel-Disney’s “Captain America: Civil War” is the top box office performer on the list, having hauled $1.2 billion. Supervisors Dan DeLeeuw and Russell Earl were also nominated for the previous installment, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

The initial list of 20 eligible films was announced on Dec. 2 and was narrowed down by the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee to 10 for the bakeoff stage in a few weeks. The excluded films were “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Deadpool,” “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Star Trek Beyond,” “Suicide Squad,” “Sully,” “Warcraft,” and “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

Members of the visual effects branch will watch 10-minute excerpts from each of the films on Jan. 7, then nominate five for final Oscar consideration. Nominations for the 2017 Oscars will be announced on Jan. 24.

The 89th Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 26 at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, and will be televised live on ABC at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET.

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