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Steven Spielberg Still Insists That The Dark Knight Should Have Received A Best Picture Oscar Nomination

Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg is once again on top of the movie world, with his new film "The Fabelmans" raking in seven nominations for the 95th Academy Awards including best director and best picture. The film, which stars Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Michelle Williams (who also received a best actress nod for her role), is a quasi-fictional story inspired by the "Jaws" director's early life.

At this year's Golden Globes ceremony, "The Fabelmans" and Spielberg took home their respective awards in the drama category, beating out other heavy hitters like Todd Field's classical music drama "Tár" and Baz Luhrmann's controversial biopic "Elvis." At the Oscars, however, "The Fabelmans" will face new competition, including Martin McDonagh's "The Banshees of Inisherin," which also took home a best picture Globe that night in the comedy category.

We're still over a month away from finding out whether or not Spielberg's latest masterpiece will take home a little golden statue (or several), though that won't stop the awards buzz from swirling around the minds of contenders and fans alike. While the competitive aspect of it all is understandably enjoyable to many (it is an awards show, after all), Spielberg seems excited by the nature of his competitors — a couple of which are franchise blockbusters. To the director, their inclusion is long overdue and brings up an old oversight that still bothers him to this day.

The Dark Knight was Oscar-worthy

In an interview with Deadline, Steven Spielberg praised his blockbuster competitors like "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" in a conversation that spun out of the subject of cinema's slow, post-pandemic resurgence. While the director has hope that more traditional dramas will see greater returns at the box office (like his own film, "The Fabelmans," which has only made about $20 million against a budget for $40 million, per Box Office Mojo), he respects that these big budget films are being recognized for their contributions to the filmmaking industry. He says that this sort of recognition is long overdue for Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight."

"That movie would have definitely garnered a best picture nomination today..." Spielberg continued. "The Dark Knight" was nominated in categories like best cinematography and best visual effects, and actor Heath Ledger was even posthumously awarded best supporting actor for his performances as The Joker. Neither Nolan nor the film itself, however, received nods from The Academy. Nolan's first best picture nomination would come in 2011 for the sci-fi thriller "Inception" — seven years later, the historical drama "Dunkirk" would finally earn him a best director nomination.

Though "The Dark Knight" has gone on to earn its place in the prestigious and highly exclusive National Film Registry at the Library of Congress (via Polygon), genre-blockbusters have still found difficulty receiving attention during awards season. Spielberg feels that this year's contenders prove The Academy's attitude may be changing and that "having those two blockbusters ["Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water"] solidly presented on the top 10 list is something we should all be celebrating."