Several award shows have done a surprisingly good job this year putting together an event that didn’t feel completely ridiculous or pointless in the wake of the horribleness of 2020, but the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has no interest in making the best of a bad situation. It wants have a normal response to a normal situation, damn it, and that’s exactly what it’s going to do with the Academy Awards in 2021. After all, the Oscars have already been pushed back to April, the fourth time the ceremony has ever been postponed, and that’s pretty much as different as the Academy is willing to make it.
According to Variety, a representative for the Academy said that “an in-person telecast will happen” and that there will be no Zoom version of the Oscars next year. It sounds like nobody really knows much beyond that, including how many people will actually be allowed in Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater (where the Oscars are usually held) in April, but an unnamed publicist told Variety that the Academy recently did a “walkthrough” of the Dolby Theater “to see all multiple options. April is pretty far away, but it still seems pretty optimistic to think that anything will be remotely “normal” by then—and that’s assuming these promising vaccines actually work out—so it’ll be interesting to see what the Academy comes up with here. Does a host on a stage all alone count as an in-person telecast? Would any nominees even want to show up? Does the Academy have enough pull to get vaccines for every celebrity just to turn the Oscars into a perfect bubble of COVID protection? God, that would be nice. Celebrities are so special.
Whatever they look like, the Oscars are happening on April 25, 2021. The Academy has also already implemented some new, one-time-only rules to allow movies that had to go on streaming services to retain the eligibility they would’ve gotten from theatrical runs in a normal year, so things were going to be a little different even before the show itself was postponed.