Heath Ledger JokerWith Academy Award buzz circulating around Health Ledger’s frightening portrayal of The Joker as well as for the movie itself, The Dark Knight is generating all sorts of Oscar talk.  A recent USA Today article reviews those topics and happens to credit another genre film that gives The Dark Knight a reason to hope.  A section noted:

But through the years, as studios focused on big-budget films, “the Hollywood establishment began turning its nose up to quality movies that happened to have action,” says Steve Mason, columnist for Hollywood.com. “The sentiment became that if it’s fun or funny or escapist entertainment, it can’t be that good. Recognizing Dark Knight would be a significant step to correct that.”

It’s not impossible. In 2004, the academy finally presented a best-picture Oscar to a fantasy film, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

“I had a glimmer of hope when Return of the King won; it felt like a victory for our kinds of films,” says Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, which plans its own Oscar campaign for Iron Man and star Robert Downey Jr.

You can read the rest of the story in USA Today.