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SYFY WIRE Saturn Awards

Marvel, Disney win big at the 45th annual Saturn Awards

By Christian Long
avengers endgame tony stark

This year marks the 45th installment of the annual Saturn Awards, which zeroes in on excellence in genre on both the big and small screens. As expected, tonight's winners represented some of the very best that sci-fi, horror, and fantasy had to offer this past year, making it all the more appropriate that it ended up being held on a full moon — on Friday the 13th, no less.

Without further ado, here's a rundown of the night's big winners.

The first trophy went to Jamie Lee Curtis for her reprisal of Laurie Strode in David Gordon Green's retcon-happy Halloween sequel, telling fans "whether I’m a fan of genre or not is irrelevant" before thanking them for their years of support. Robert Downey Jr. won Best Actor for his final portrayal of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame -- marking the first of a few wins for the crossover epic, including Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture, beating out several other MCU entries, including Captain Marvel and Infinity War

The MCU also did predictably well overall, winning Best Supporting Actor for Josh Brolin's Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Best Supporting Actress for Zendaya's take on MJ in Spider-Man: Far From Home, while her spoiler-prone co-star, Tom Holland, won for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. Jon Favreau, who kickstarted the MCU with Iron Man in 2008, was also given the Visionary Award. 

Capping off the MCU's win-filled evening, Kevin Feige was the recipient of the inaugural Stan Lee World Builder Award, crediting the Marvel Studios boss (rightfully) with an interconnected streak of blockbusters almost two dozen entries deep. While Feige wasn't in attendance, he delivered an acceptance speech via video, where he owed much of his success to all of the characters that Lee had a hand in co-creating over the years.

He also announced a special home video release for "The Infinity Saga," which he promised will include all sorts of new special features. He then played a never-before-seen deleted scene from Iron Man, which featured Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury referencing radioactive spider bites and mutants long before those characters were under the MCU umbrella.

Speaking of radioactive spider bites, Sony's eye-popping Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung away with Best Animated Film. 

On the horror front, Jordan Peele took home Best Director for his much-talked-about Us, while the Breakout Director award went to Ari Aster's sun-drenched gorefest Midsommar, his follow-up to last year's deeply unsettling Hereditary. Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski also took home Best Writing for their near-silent monster movie A Quiet Place, which also picked up Best Horror Film.

Best Science Fiction Film went to Steven Spielberg's all-in take on Ready Player One, beating out Solo: A Star Wars Story and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Best Fantasy Film went to Pixar's Toy Story 4, thanks (at least in part) to Tony Hale's portrayal of the angst-ridden Forky.

Looking to the small screen, Netflix did predictably well. The overwhelmingly popular Stranger Things won Best Horror/Thriller Streaming Series, while Henry Thomas' work in The Haunting of Hill House won him Best Actor in a Streaming Presentation. Even though Daredevil was unexpectedly canceled by Netflix after its well-received third season, it was named Best Streaming Superhero Series.

Supergirl took home the trophy for Best Superhero Series, a category dominated by DC adaptions, including five of The CW series, as well as the recently concluded Batman prequel Gotham. The non-DC outlier was Freeform's Marvel-adjacent series Cloak & Dagger.

Elsewhere in TV awards, HBO's Westworld won for Best Sci-Fi Series, which was capped off by a tongue-in-cheek acceptance speech as the recipients repeatedly assured the crowd they're working on all the "malfunctions" happening at the park of late. Best Streaming Science Fiction Show went to CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery, which was going up against some serious competition with fellow contenders Russian Doll, Black Mirror, and The Expanse.

The Star Trek spinoff also scored two acting awards. The first went to Sonequa Martin-Green, whose portrayal of Michael Burnham earned her Best Actress in a Streaming Presentation, while Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Presentation went to genre mainstay Doug Jones for his role as Commander Saru. 

While Star Wars wasn't really represented on the film side of things, The Disney Channel's Star Wars: Resistance was named Best Animated Television Series. AMC's long-running, spinoff-inspiring zombie soap opera The Walking Dead won for Best Horror Television Series. 

The night's big honoree was Marvel's TV chief Jeph Loeb, who was awarded the Dan Curtis Legacy Award for his groundbreaking work telling superhero stories on the small screen -- including the now-defunct Netflix corner of the larger MCU. 

Finally, let's not forget the most overlooked award of the night, given to Best DVD or Blu-ray Special Edition Release, which went to the infamous 1995 adventure flick Waterworld. [*Discreetly adds to online shopping cart*]

If you want to relive the excitement for yourself, you can watch the ceremony over on the Saturn Awards YouTube channel