The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science announced the seven films on the visual effects category shortlist today. Universal Studios’ The Hulk, New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 20th Century Fox’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Universal’s Peter Pan, Buena Vista Pictures’ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Fox’s X2 were cited for consideration in the highly competitive VFX race today. All signs are pointing to a big showdown between the two digital powerhouses, ILM and Weta on Oscar night.
Each of the short-listed films will submit 15-minute reels to be screened for the VFX award-nominating committee at the bakeoff on January 21st. The members will then nominate three of these seven films for Oscar consideration. The finalists will be announced along with nominations in 23 other categories on Jan. 27.
Among the vfx-heavy films that failed to make the shortlist were Warner Bros.’ The Matrix Revolutions, Sony’s Big Fish, Universal’s The Cat in the Hat, Disney’s Haunted Mansion, Fox’s Daredevil and Warner Bros. ‘ Looney Tunes: Missing in Action. Somewhere in the cold, uncaring universe, Neo and Agent Smith are fighting tears of disappointment today.