The Academy is considering postponing the next Oscar ceremony as it weighs the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from Variety .
The 93rd Academy Awards are currently set for Feb. 28, 2021 on ABC, but the trade apparently spoke to a well-placed source who said “It’s likely they’ll be postponed.”
Of course, “likely” is the best any source can do these days given the uncertainty stemming from the current pandemic, which has raised myriad problems for Hollywood. As much as I’d love to blame the Academy for its lack of a plan at this stage, you really can’t blame them for being unable to predict the future. No one knows how long restrictions will last, or even whether life will “return to normal” once they do.
When the Academy announced changes to its eligibility rules last month, the organization’s president David Rubin admitted that he didn’t know what form this year’s celebration will take. After all, it’s hard to celebrate movies when so many people have lost and are continuing to lose their lives to this terrible virus.
“It’s impossible to know what the landscape will be. We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take,” said Rubin.
The other important thing that Variety noted in the last paragraph of its story is that it’s possible that the Academy could push back its annual Dec. 31 deadline for qualifying films. Meaning, if theaters don’t open until, say, September or October, or people don’t start returning to theaters until then, it’s possible that the Academy could push the Oscars ceremony from February to April, and make Valentine’s Day the cut-off date for features, giving studios another six weeks to space out prestige releases on the awards calendar.
It remains to be seen whether the Oscars will ultimately move, and keep an eye on the Super Bowl in the event that the NFL season starts later than usual this year, because if the NFL moved the Big Game onto Hollywood’s Big Night, the Academy would “likely” blink in a heartbeat. For more on all of this year’s rule changes meant to accommodate a flood of streaming content, click here.