The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did the only thing it could do — postpone the 2021 Oscars.
It was assumed for quite some time that the 93rd Academy Awards would be delayed because of COVID-19, but up until Monday, the big question was for how long. The answer: two months, to April 25.
Even if the coronavirus pandemic remains unpredictable, a two-month postponement seems logical. In fact, the Oscars routinely took place in March or April until the Academy switched to a February date in the early 2000s.
“This is a much needed boost for those films who may have been stalled in post-production,” an Academy member said.
The qualifying release deadline has also been pushed to Feb. 28, 2021, instead of Dec. 31, 2020. “Given everything that has been going on, the extra time is important,” the source said.
Before the date switch, several Oscar contenders were facing the possibility of bailing out of the 2021 Oscars in favor a 2022 run because they probably wouldn’t have had enough time to finish production and post-production by the end of the year. Among the films that could benefit from the extra time are Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Baz Luhrman’s untitled Elvis Presley film.
And what about the films that were already in the pipeline for a 2020 release? No release changes have been announced following the Oscar news. However, could a film like Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story” move from its holiday time release to something closer to nominations voting, which begins March 5 and closes March 10.
Whatever the case may be, nominations will be announced on March 15 ahead of the Oscars telecast on ABC on April 25.
While no official date changes have been announced for Oscar pre-cursors, including the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the PGAs and DGAs, and the Spirit Awards, postponements are expected.
“Who knows what awards season is going to look like?” an awards consultant said. “But at least we know when the Oscars are. That’s a good start.”