Oscars: Michael De Luca, Jennifer Todd Confirmed as Producers, Plan "Unexpected" Show
The two producers will guide the show scheduled for broadcast by ABC on Feb. 26.
Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd will produce the 89th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday.
It is the first time overseeing the high-profile show for both, although they have served as co-chairs of the Producers Guild of America's annual PGA Awards, which, though a non-televised event, attracts many of the same nominees that usually show up at the Oscars.
Their first order of business will be securing a host for the show.
"What a talented team," said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs in making the announcement. "Mike and Jennifer have a great working relationship and a tremendous love and respect of film, and will surely draw from their vast experience to create an exceptional and unforgettable event for movie fans everywhere."
"We are deeply honored to produce the Academy Awards," said De Luca and Todd. "We both revere the Oscars and grew up watching them each year with our families. We are so humbled and grateful to be a part of this incredible legacy, and look forward to creating an exciting show that celebrates movies and the power they have to connect us all."
"We are thrilled to be working with Mike and Jennifer," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. "In our meetings, they shared an early vision for the show that is inspired and in keeping with the films they’ve produced: entertaining, unexpected and of the highest caliber."
"Mike and Jennifer have an intimate knowledge of the art of filmmaking. Their celebrated successes in storytelling will enhance the Oscar ceremony and capture the magic that sets the medium apart from any other," said Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment.
De Luca, who has received three best picture Oscar nominations — for The Social Network, Moneyball and Captain Phillips — produced Fifty Shades of Grey and its upcoming sequel, and also has held executive posts at New Line, DreamWorks and Sony. His credits also include Magnolia, American History X and Boogie Nights.
Todd currently serves as president of Pearl Street Films, the production company founded by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, where she is producing Affleck's upcoming Live By Night. She also exec produced this year's Jason Bourne, starring Damon. Her producing credits also include Alice in Wonderland, Across the Universe, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Memento and the Austin Powers movies.
As awards season gets underway in Hollywood, there has been increased speculation about whom the Academy would pick to produce the show, since the choice is coming unusually late in the year. Last year, Reginald Hudlin and David Hill produced the show, hosted by Chris Rock. Airing amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy because of the lack of people of color among its acting nominees, the broadcast attracted 34.42 million viewers, becoming the third-lowest telecast since 1974.