Black Panther has wowed audiences and provided movie theaters with an intergenerational smash hit - and is now poised to be an Oscars heavyweight.
But unless something drastic happens, Black Panther will next month become the first comic book film to be nominated for best picture and easily Marvel Studios' most significant Oscar contender ever.
Yet few films will be watched more closely through awards season than Black Panther, which is also in the running for Ruth Carter's costume design, the cinematography of Rachel Morrison (who last year became the first woman ever nominated in the category), Hannah Beachler's production design, Coogler's direction, the script by Joe Robert Cole and Coogler, Kendrick Lamar's song All the Stars and Michael B. Jordan's supporting performance.
Black Panther has already been at the centre of the uproar over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' short-lived plans to institute a "best popular film" category.
The academy's move was intended to rope in more box-office hits to the broadcast, but critics said such a category would potentially ghettoize films like Black Panther from the prestigious honour of best picture.
But the awards campaign for Black Panther is predicated less on its superhero DNA than on its cultural impact and on its personal nature as, despite its budget, an auteur film by one of the most widely respected young filmmakers in Hollywood.