Coronavirus’s latest disruption to Hollywood: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that due to the pandemic, it will delay the 2021 Oscars ceremony to April 25 from February 28 and extend the eligibility window to be more flexible for filmmakers.
The Academy announced the two-month delay on Twitter Monday, also extending the eligibility window for the film awards to February 28 from December 31, 2020.
Academy president David Ruben and chief executive Dawn Hudson explained the eligibility explanation in a statement as a way to “provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”
Many studios delayed or dropped movie releases because of Covid-19, including Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “In the Heights” and the “Venom” sequel, which were both pushed back from this year to June 2021.
The opening of the Academy Museum, which was finally set to open in December after nine decades in the works, will also be pushed back to April 30.
The Academy has not yet clarified whether there will be the customary red carpet and live audience at the April ceremony.
“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring and entertaining us during the darkest of times,” wrote Ruben and Hudson in their statement. “They certainly have this year.”
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of countless concerts, festivals, sports games, marathons, marches and more. In the awards space, the MTV Movie and TV Awards was postponed indefinitely on June 9, the Cannes Film Festival was postponed twice, the Eurovision Song Contest was canceled, and the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards was postponed to September 16, among other major disruptions.