The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday that the 2021 Oscars ceremony will be postponed from Feb. 28 to April 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This marks the latest the Oscars have been held since 1932 when the awards were handed out in November.
Hollywood and the international film industry have particularly struggled during the last three months, losing out on profits from tent-pole movies and missing shooting deadlines. Not only did most cinemas close down the world over, delaying lucrative major film releases, but production on future projects was entirely halted.
“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,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement.
While some potential 2021 Oscar contenders, such as Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” were slated to roll out across festival season right now had it not been for the pandemic, others would be nowhere near completion. For instance, last year’s Best Picture nominee “1917” began filming in May and finished post-production in November.
The academy made one small concession to get more films into the fray in April when it was announced that streaming-only movies would be eligible for the first time. Proving the wisdom of that move, a major at-home contender was released Friday on Netflix: “Da 5 Bloods,” directed by Academy Award winner Spike Lee, which is already getting awards buzz.
The rescheduled Oscars will likely force the hand of the Golden Globe Awards, SAG Awards and others to also change dates to allow for a somewhat traditional awards season. The Globes are currently scheduled for Jan. 11, 2021 and will be hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.