James Gunn’s ‘Guardians’ Trilogy Contends For an Unusual Oscar Record With Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Trilogy

While James Gunn once again hit it out of the part with his last MCU entry, it might be heading to equal an unfortunate record set by RDJ's Iron Man trilogy.

James Gunn’s ‘Guardians’ Trilogy Contends For an Unusual Oscar Record With Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Trilogy


  • Unlike its peers last year, the Gunn factor helped Guardians 3 once again top in the Visual department, as it tallies up the trilogy's nods at Oscars for Visuals to 3.
  • But following the fierce competition this year, it's likely the threequel might equal the unfortunate record of the Iron Man trilogy.
  • The reason why VFX artists working with Gunn were immune to the deteriorating working conditions was the director himself.
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Despite dominating the box office in the last decade, the MCU has been met with little to no recognition at major Award Ceremonies. While there are exceptions to take note of, most prominently Black Panther, which made history by securing a nod for Best Picture at the Oscars, for the most part, MCU releases are often limited to technical categories.


And this year is no different, as James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, despite being the best MCU release in years, only scored a nod at the Visual Effects Category at the Academy Awards. However, following the line-up competing for the accolade, there’s a probable chance the film will equal the Iron Man trilogy’s dispiriting record.

Also read: James Gunn Calls an End To Old Hollywood Tradition That Birthed Great Actors Like Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. | Iron Man

Guardians of the Galaxy’s Might Equal Iron Man Trilogy’s Unfortunate Record at the Oscars

At a time when MCU movies were criticized for their mundane color palette, James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy was a welcome exception. Having the freedom to stray away from the traditional MCU color scheme, Gunn and his talented team of artists succeeded in weaving the most visually appealing film MCU had to offer at that point. And with the sequel, Gunn and Co. doubled down on the aspects that made the first one so beautiful, and even with the threequel, the visuals are better than ever, which can’t be said for its peers last year.

But even though Guardians 3 tallied up the trilogy’s nominations in the VFX department to 3, equaling the Robert Downey Jr-led Iron Man trilogy’s nods, it might be heading for another loss. Considering its competitors this year involve the likes of The Creator, MI 7, and Godzilla Minus One, the James Gunn-led MCU franchise might end its Oscar campaign with no wins.

if this ends up being the case, it’ll also equal the Iron Man trilogy’s record of not scoring a single win in the Visual Effects category despite garnering three nods throughout its run.


Also read: David Corenswet’s Fortress of Solitude: James Gunn’s Latest Post Has All the DC Fans Saying One Thing

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

James Gunn Was Lauded by Guardian 3’s Visual Effects Supervisor for Helping Out the Artists

Even though other major CBMs lately have been dealing with the issue of underwhelming CGI, following VFX artists’ less-than-stellar working conditions, Guardians 3 was immune to it. The reason behind it was James Gunn himself, who made sure to avoid stretching the VFX artists by resorting to practical effects for the Counter-Earth human animals. Visual effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti commended Gunn, stating (via Comicbook.com),

“To be honest, for us it was a huge saving of time to not have to do the Counter Earth human-animals as a CG thing. And that’s where James is very smart, with the way he does his movies. He just knows how to balance everybody’s work.”

Also read: “It makes a little bit like Westeros”: James Gunn Believes DC Is Better Than Marvel Because Of Its Game Of Thrones Style Feature That Can’t Be

James Gunn on the sets of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
James Gunn

With Gunn seeming to reunite with his Guardians 3 team once again, it’s safe to say Superman: Legacy will hit the mark when it comes to appeasing fans visually.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is available to stream on Disney Plus.

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Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1591

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1500 articles.