Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell could become one of a very small number of people to win a posthumous Oscar, if a bid to have his song "The Promise" nominated is successful. He wrote it for the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, which investigates the Armenian Genocide of 1914-23. An alternative version of the song – the last piece of work he released in his lifetime – can be heard in the new video above.

Earlier this week, Cornell, who took his own life in May at the age of 52, was the recipient of a human rights award in recognition of the song’s influence. Now Deadline has reported that “The Promise” is in contention for an Oscar nomination in the Best Original Song category. The nominees will be announced on Jan. 23, 2018, and the 90th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Mar. 4, 2018.

“Although competition… is fierce this year – with recent past winners providing hot new prospects in music-centric films such as Beauty and the Beast, Coco and The Greatest Showman, not to mention the efforts of eight-time nominee Diane Warren and Oscar winner Common for the stirring ‘Stand Up for Something’ from Marshall, to mention just a few – the story behind [‘The Promise’] is compelling reason enough for its consideration,” the publication reported.

Movie producer Eric Esrailian told Deadline that Cornell had contributed much more to the project that anything that could have been expected of him. “Every time I had some kind of self-doubt about either being able to pull it off or even internally some doubts about creative issues, he was saying, ‘You can do this’,” Esrialian said. “And he started really putting his head around this from the beginning as a story, not even just the song, and he read every version of the script.

“I think it’s a very unique situation where you have an artist who’s organically part of the project from day one, as opposed to what I found out happens in a lot of other films, where you make the whole movie and then you show it to somebody and then they write a song. You kind of stick it on.”

Cornell had never assumed he’d be asked to write for the soundtrack. Esralian only extended the request after being told by Cornell’s wife Vicki that the singer was hoping for an invitation. “Then he wrote me an email the next day and it was really touching because I can imagine that he’d been thinking about it,” the producer said. “[H]e wrote me and said, ‘I want to tell you that I’m honored and that I’m devoted to this film, and that I will give it my absolute best, and I feel like my 30 years of discovery and development as a songwriter have led me to this’.”


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