The 93rd Oscars to be held next year have been postponed by eight weeks to April 25 after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered movie theaters and desolate on Hollywood’s release calendar, the Academy said. The movie industry’s biggest night was originally scheduled for February 28, 2021.
Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement, “Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”
With many studio blockbusters and indie arthouse movies forced to push back their release dates until theatres reopen, the cut-off date for Oscar-eligible films has also been extended from December 31, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
The whole country is in a fear of the second wave of COVID-19 as cases keep growing. Subsequently, most of the US theatres remain closed.
The Academy’s long-delayed Museum of Motion Pictures, previously scheduled to open in Los Angeles this December, will now open on April 30, 2021. No decision has yet been taken on whether it will remain alive, star-studded ceremony, or shift to a “virtual” presentation.
The statement of a change in date was shared by the Academy’s official twitter handle.
The Academy is seen as the top body of the Hollywood film industry. It had already eased some eligibility rules in April, allowing movies that skip the big screen and appear on streaming platforms to contend for Oscars this year.
“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year,” said The Academy.
It added: “This coming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark a historic moment, gathering movie fans around the world to unite through cinema.”
The Oscars are the grand finale of a movie award season starting in earnest with the Golden Globes in early January. Other film award shows are widely expected to announce similar delays in the wake of the Academy’s move.
Meanwhile, television’s Primetime Emmys ceremony is still scheduled to take place in September, with discussions over format ongoing.
The Academy Awards have never been postponed before by more than a week. However, The Academy has postponed thrice before – after Los Angeles flooded in 1938, Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination in 1968, and the shooting of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.