×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Acad trailer sparkles for 75th anni

Org makes 14,000 prints of Monroe trailer to promote kudocast

HOLLYWOOD — What becomes a legend most? For the Academy, it’s Marilyn Monroe singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” to celebrate Oscar’s 75th — or diamond — anniversary in a promotional trailer unspooling March 1-23 in theaters in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

For more than 20 years, the Academy has distributed its theatrical trailer in the weeks leading up to the ceremony, encouraging moviegoers to tune in to the Oscarcast.

This year the Academy struck 14,000 prints of the 60-second trailer, targeting mom-and-pop theaters as well as cinema chains such as AMC and Loew’s, says Randy Haberkamp, the Acad’s program coordinator for educational and special projects. The exhibitors do not charge the Academy to run the short film, which Haberkamp says is funded by AMPAS, with ABC, the network airing the awards, “pitching in”; Deluxe Labs and Kodak also are sponsors.

The trailer’s concept changes from year to year, but the formula has remained the same: nominees for best actress, actor and picture are presented in alphabetical order (to prevent any appearance of favoritism). The clips used are culled from those provided by the studios — before the noms are announced — of every potential nominee.

Next year, however, Haberkamp says, will be, “a whole new ballgame,” thanks to an earlier show date and shortened nominee deadline. “The plan right now is to come up with a trailer that isn’t nominee-oriented and can go out earlier,” he says.

The 75th-anniversary trailer marks the first time the Academy has set the nominee clips to a vocal — the classic musical sequence from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953), in which Monroe, draped in a pink strapless gown and opera gloves, vamps in praise of the precious stones. This decision, Haberkamp admits, made the process “a bit complicated,” as the org had to obtain the rights to the Jules Styne/Leo Robin song, the clip from Fox’s “Gentlemen” and Monroe’s image.

As in years past, AMPAS asked production companies to pitch ideas and concepts for the trailer while remaining within certain parameters, which included using an orchestral score. Haberkamp says local trailer house Alkemi Entertainment pitched the Marilyn Monroe concept “right up front” and landed the commission in November despite eschewing a musical score in favor of the song.

Kenji Thielstrom, a senior producer at Alkemi, credits creative exec Barry Schoor with the idea. Although the silver screen icon was never nominated for an Oscar, Thielstrom says, “We thought of Marilyn Monroe because she embodies so much about what the Academy stands for. She’s glamorous and she represents the romance of movies.”

Popular on Variety

More News

  • Darren Star, Canneseries 2020 season 03

    Darren Star Reflects on His Iconic Shows And Teases 'Emily in Paris' at Mipcom

    Darren Star, the creator of “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Melrose Place” and “Sex and the City” who was celebrated at Mipcom on Monday and named patron of the upcoming Canneseries festival, said the iconic TV series he created struck a chord throughout the world because of their relatable characters and cultural grounding. “I never thought of [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds John Krasinkski

    Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski in Talks for 'Imaginary Friends' Movie

    Ryan Reynolds and John Krasinski are in talks to board the fantasy comedy “Imaginary Friends” at Paramount Studios. Paramount recently won the bidding for the property over Lionsgate and Sony. Krasinski will write, direct,  produce and star while Reynolds will co-star if the deals go through. The story centers on a man who can see [...]

  • Willem Dafoe attends the "Motherless Brooklyn"

    Willem Dafoe Joins Guillermo Del Toro's 'Nightmare Alley'

    Willem Dafoe has closed a deal to join Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of “Nightmare Alley.” Collider had first reported that Dafoe was being considered for a role in the film, but sources now say the “Lighthouse” star has closed a deal to join the cast. The “At [...]

  • Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren,

    How to Watch the Fourth Democratic Primary Debate

    For the first time since Nancy Pelosi launched the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, the top 12 Democratic primary candidates will take part in a debate. This marks the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 campaign season. The event is co-hosted by CNN and the New York Times and will be held at Otterbein [...]

  • Nailed It!

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Holiday Programming Release Dates

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix unveiled the premiere dates for its upcoming holiday programming and the CW renewed “The Outpost.” DATES  Netflix has announced the release dates for all of its upcoming holiday series and films. Beginning Nov. 1, the streaming service will kick off the holiday season with “Holiday in the Wild” starring [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Heading for $45 Million Launch, Topping 'Joker'

    Angelina Jolie will topple Joaquin Phoenix from the North American box office throne as her “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” should open in the $45 million range this weekend, while “Zombieland: Double Tap” will battle “Joker” for second place in the mid-$20 millions. The film, told from the perspective of the sorceress in “Sleeping Beauty,” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content