It has long been clear that, thanks to the pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will look unlike any of the prior 92, but now we have a few more details about how the 2021 Oscars will be different.
The Academy tells The Hollywood Reporter that the health and safety of participants remains its primary concern and will ultimately dictate what happens on April 25 — but that it is moving forward with plans to conduct a ceremony with in-person components “from multiple locations, including the landmark Dolby Theatre.”
For several years in the 1950s, starting in 1952, Oscar night featured simultaneous gatherings in Los Angeles and New York. One can imagine something similar happening this year — maybe even including cities outside of the U.S. like London, Paris and Seoul, since the Academy’s membership is now truly international — to spare people from having to undertake long-distance travel and to allow for greater social distancing at each venue.
This is not to say that there will not also be a significant virtual component to the ceremony, as there was for the Emmys last September. It is perhaps more so a reflection of the Academy’s need to hold its annual Oscars ceremony — in partnership with ABC — that is the organization’s primary generator of revenue to cover its year-round costs.
It was announced in December that Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins will produce the telecast.
“In this unique year that has asked so much of so many, the Academy is determined to present an Oscars like none other, while prioritizing the public health and safety of all those who will participate,” an Academy spokesperson said. “To create the in-person show our global audience wants to see, while adapting to the requirements of the pandemic, the ceremony will broadcast live from multiple locations, including the landmark Dolby Theatre. We look forward to sharing more details soon.”