Ramsey has been down much of this road before. His directorial debut, 2012’s “Rise of the Guardians” — for which he was hailed as “the Obama of animation” — was another big-budget CGI feature that garnered a Golden Globe nomination. But “Brave” took home the Globe (and the Oscar) that season — while “Guardians” didn’t even receive an Academy Award nod.
“Spider-Verse,” though, sits in a much stronger position. Sony’s new animated smash — also directed by Bob Persichetti (“Puss In Boots”) and Rodney Rothman (“22 Jump Street”) — not only won the Globe. “Spider-Verse” has also received better reviews than “Guardians” (87 vs. 57 average score on Metacritic).
In a big year for screen superheroes of color, “Spider-Verse” is also riding a cultural zeitgeist. In its first three weeks of release, Ramsey’s latest film has already grossed $275 million worldwide — set to soon surpass the entire run of “Guardians” ($306.9 million).
Sure to boost “Spider-Verse’s” chances for an Oscars nomination amid the high-volume awards season is its eye-candy quality.
In that regard, Ramsey couldn’t have been a better pick to help lead the film, as written by Emmy winners Phil Lord (“The Last Man on Earth,” “The Lego Movie”) and Rothman (“Late Show With David Letterman”).
Ramsey’s well-rounded background includes painting, illustration and storyboard art — including Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” last year — and his pivot to animation starting with the “Shrek” franchise has opened whole new creative avenues for him.
Ramsey has witnessed barrier-breaking, including when he served as a second unit director on 1993’s “Poetic Justice” — the film’s director, John Singleton, had become the first black director to receive an Oscars nomination for his film “Boyz N The Hood.”
“Anyone can be behind the mask,” Ramsey said Sunday while accepting the Golden Globe for “Spider-Verse.”
But Ramsey is the uncommon multi-hyphenate of a talent who elevates a work like “Spider-Verse” by being behind the camera.
Now, another awards milestone awaits.