Spider-Man: No Way Home could lose Oscars fan award race to shock contender

A screenshot of the opening scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man can't believe his eyes as the Oscars Fan Favorite award race hots up. (Image credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios)

Spoilers follow for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is losing the race to secure the 2022 Oscar Fan Favorite award to a surprise Prime Video contender.

As of Monday, February 21, the Marvel Phase 4 film was getting beaten by none other than Cinderella, the Camilla Cabello-starring romantic musical that launched on Prime Video in September 2021.

Per Deadline, Cinderella had amassed more votes online than Spider-Man: No Way Home. In a further blow to Spidey's chances of claiming the prize, the webslinger's third MCU movie also trailed Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead and Tick, Tick... Boom!, which are available on Netflix, while Minamata, the indie film starring Johnny Depp that launched in theaters last February, wasn't far behind.

The shock news comes a week after The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (in conjunction with Twitter) opened the polls for its unofficial 2022 Oscar Fan Favorite award. Up until March 3, fans can vote for their favorite film of 2021 – as long as it was released between March 1 and December 31, 2021, i.e. the official Academy Eligibility List dates.

Fans can vote using the hashtags #OscarsFanFavorite and #Sweepstakes, alongside a hashtag for the movie of their choice, to cast their vote. Interested parties can also tweet up to 20 times a day until the polls close. Then, The Academy will collate the results and announces a winner during the 2022 Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 27.

The winning flick won't receive a physical award on the night, but it'll still be recognized as the fans' choice for best movie of 2021.

Many pundits view the Fan Favorite award as a way for The Academy to appease fans of superhero movies in particular. Despite Marvel's box office dominance in recent years, 2018's Black Panther is the only superhero film that has secured a nomination in the Best Picture category at any Oscars ceremony – much to the chagrin of MCU fans.

If The Academy had expected No Way Home to be a shoe-in for the unofficial award, its executive team has clearly underestimated the power of a film's fanbase. After all, Twitter was the birthplace for the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign, a four-year fanbase crusade demanding that Warner Bros. release the director's cut of his Justice League movie. Warner Bros. eventually agreed to let Snyder complete his version of the film, much to the delight of fans around the world.

Of course, there's no guaratee that Cinderella will continue to hold top spot in the race for the Oscars Fan Favorite award. At the time of writing there are still 12 days to go until the polls close, so No Way Home or another surprise contender could secure the win in that time. Right now, the wallcrawler's third MCU film has been tweeted about more times than Cinderella (570 to 560 as of Monday morning UK time), so don't be surprised if No Way Home catches its rival.

Still, the Oscars Fan Favorite award race has already made for compelling viewing. The sheer number of votes cast is indicative of how passionate some fanbases are about their favorite movies. Give them the chance to prove it, such as opening a poll for which their cherished film can land an Academy award (albeit not a physical one), and fans will give it their all.

Regardless of who ends up winning, it's been an interesting experiment for The Academy to conduct, and for us to watch. And it'll be equally intriguing to see if The Academy brings the Fan Favorite award back in future years.

For more Oscars coverage, check out our guide to where you can watch every 2022 Best Picture nominee. And, on the MCU front, read up on how to watch the Marvel movies in order.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.