Oscars 2022: Why a ‘Dune’ Best Picture Win Would Be Huge for Sci-Fi Movies

The 94th Annual Academy Awards are almost upon us, and 10 movies are in the running for the biggest honor of the night: Best Picture. Among them is Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction hit, Dune. And if the film actually wins in this category, it will mark a major achievement for the genre.

Genre films have a history of being snubbed at the Oscars

It’s no secret that genre films have a long history of being snubbed for prestigious awards. And a surprisingly small number of science-fiction and fantasy movies have been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Winning that prize has proven a challenge, even for the ones that find themselves contenders. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the first fantasy film to take home that prize in 2004.

The 2017 film The Shape of Water also managed to snag Best Picture at the 90th Annual Academy Awards. But as GoldDerby points out, there’s been some debate on whether it falls into the fantasy or science-fiction category. Many feel it’s a mix of genres, which would mean a science-fiction movie has never taken home Best Picture.

Dune could change that if it wins Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars. Doing so would prove a major accomplishment for the film itself, as well as the genre overall.

Why a ‘Dune’ Best Picture win would be a major achievement

2022 Best Picture nominee 'Dune.' The image features Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides. They're standing in the desert.
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in ‘Dune’ | Warner Bros. Entertainment/Chiabella James

Despite all the impressive science-fiction movies that have come out over the years, IGN notes that only 13 have received a Best Picture nomination — and that includes Dune. Some beloved films that have found themselves in the running include Star Wars, Avatar, and E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. However, none of them won in the category.

With that in mind, Dune has the opportunity to take a huge step forward for science fiction. If Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation wins in 2022, it will make Oscars history. And it may help the genre receive greater recognition in the future.

Although genre projects, in general, have been taken more seriously in recent years, a science-fiction film still needs to make the leap from Best Picture nominee to Best Picture winner. Until one does, old biases will continue to prevail.

And a Dune Best Picture win could serve as a turning point, opening the door for similar films to get the accolades they deserve. It could lead to more science-fiction movies being nominated in other major categories. Studios may also pursue more sci-fi projects as a result.

Really, it all comes down to whether or not Dune actually takes home the gold this year.

Could ‘Dune’ take home Best Picture at the Oscars?

So, does Dune stand a chance at winning Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars? With 10 nominees in the category, the film has some hefty competition. And it’s far from the only impressive project on the list.

With that in mind, Dune has been hailed as a cinematic masterpiece by critics and audiences alike. It’s already seen far more recognition than many other movies in its genre. And it’s undoubtedly deserving of Best Picture.

Additionally, more and more projects are making awards history in recent years — at the Oscars and beyond. It seems like Dune could join the list of movies breaking ground.

The 94th Annual Academy Awards will air on ABC on March 27 at 8 p.m. EST.

RELATED: Did ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Movies Win Any Oscars?