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SYFY WIRE Emmys 2021

Emmys 2021: 'WandaVision' conjures up 23 noms in major validation for Marvel's Disney+ slate

By Josh Weiss
WandaVision Episode 9

The small screen side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is officially an Emmys contender.

WandaVision flexed its powerful magical muscles Tuesday with a litany of major nominations for Elizabeth Olsen (Outstanding Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie), Paul Bettany (Outstanding Actor), Kathryn Hahn (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie), and Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. 

In total, the series that kicked off Phase 4 racked up a whopping 23 nods, including ones for director Matt Shakman, composer Christophe Beck, and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. There was just no way "Agatha All Along" wasn't going to be nominated.

WandaVision Episode 9

Another Marvel series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier bagged five nods, the most notable of which is Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, courtesy of Don Cheadle's short cameo as James Rhodes, aka War Machine, in the season premiere. The show also received nods for technical elements like sound editing, visual effects, stunt coordination, and stunt performance, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier boosted Marvel's total number of Emmy nominations to 28.

This represents a huge win for both Disney+ (still a relatively new platform) and Marvel — the latter of whom hasn't gotten any "above-the-line" recognition in the world of television until today, notes The Hollywood Reporter (shows like Jessica Jones, The Punisher, Defenders, and Legion all secured technical nods back in 2018).

Don Cheadle In The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

And the Disney+ Emmys train doesn't end with Marvel. Lucasfilm is in on the action as well with 25 nominations for its first live-action Star Wars TV series — The Mandalorian — including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Giancarlo Esposito), Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Carl Weathers and Timothy Olyphant), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Jon Favreau), and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (Favreau and Dave Filoni).

Speaking of Outstanding Drama Series, the top category is mostly made up of genre contenders: The MandalorianThe Handmaid's Tale (Hulu), The Boys (Amazon Prime Video), and Lovecraft Country (HBO). The Crown and Pose are the only non-genre projects among the bunch.

Lovecraft Country secured 18 nominations, five of them for acting: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Jonathan Majors), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Jurnee Smollett), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Michael K. Williams), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Aunjanue Ellis), Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Courtney B. Vance). In addition, showrunner and executive producer Misha Green was recognized for her writing.

Lovecraft Country - Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance

Smollett's only genre competition in the lead actress category is Elisabeth Moss, who has been nominated for The Handmaid's Tale several times as both actress and producer. She took home two statues in 2017. 

The Handmaid's Tale racked up more than 20 nominations this year in categories such as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Max Minghella), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Madeline Brewer, and Ann Dowd), and Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series (Alexis Bledel and McKenna Grace).

Amazon's The Boys put its diabolical stamp on the 73rd Emmys with five nods. Beyond Outstanding Drama, the bloody and expletive-filled adaptation of the Dynamite Entertainment comics is vying for awards related to writing, original music, sound mixing, and visual effects. It only received one other nomination last year for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series.

While Netflix has a stronger awards showing with more grounded content (like The Crown and Bridgerton), the streaming giant still managed to eke out a few genre nominations for Cobra Kai (four, including Outstanding Comedy Series) and Ratched (also four, including makeup, costumes, and hair design).

The Boys Season 2

Over in the world of cartoons, South Park: The Pandemic Special, Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Big Mouth, and Primal will duke it out for Outstanding Animated Program.

The list of hopefuls Outstanding Short Form Animated Program are Love, Death + Robots (Netflix), Maggie Simpson In: The Force Awakens From Its Nap (Disney+), Once Upon A Snowman (Disney+), and Robot Chicken (Adult Swim). In terms of voiceover performances for animation, the late Jessica Walter received a posthumous nod for her work on FX's Archer.

Click here for the full list of this year's nominees.

Airing on CBS, the 73rd Annual Emmys ceremony will take place at the Microsoft Theatre in downtown Los Angeles Sunday, Sep. 19 at 8 p.m. EST. Cedric the Entertainer is set to host the event, which will boast a reduced in-person audience comprised of nominees and their guests.

"Since I was a little boy huddled up next to my grandmother, television has always been my reliable friend, so it is an enormous honor for me to host this year’s Emmy Awards," Cedric the Entertainer said in a statement. "Throughout the roller-coaster of a year that we have all lived through, television has helped us stay connected as a society like never before. It not only entertained us, but as it always has, it helped to open our eyes, educate us, and hopefully brought about a better understanding of who we are as a people. I can’t wait to take the stage to celebrate all of the great shows and performances that made us laugh, cry, dance and sing over the past year."