COVID-19: Oscars award ceremony may be postponed by four months

The 2021 Academy Awards may be postponed to a later date, marking the most major shakeup in the 93-year history of the Oscars.

According to a new report, organisers for next year's ceremony are in talks to push back the ceremony, which was planned to be held on February 28, by up to four months.

The ceremony is under threat due to the lack of new films amid the global coronavirus pandemic, which has seen studios delay releases and shut down production on new projects.

The Sun reports that movie studios have been told this week that there will be a longer release window for their films to be eligible for nomination.

The so-called Oscar season usually begins after the summer blockbusters have left cinemas, with major studios releasing their awards season contenders in November and December in the hope they remain fresh in the minds of critics and Academy members, who vote in January.

Major movies have already had their release dates pushed back as cinemas across the world remain closed.

The latest James Bond movie No Time To Die was one of the first blockbusters to be delayed, with its release date moved from April to November.

A movie insider told The Sun that organisers are doing all they can to ensure a ceremony does take place at some point in 2021: 'The Oscars organisers have been in talks for weeks about whether the ceremony can go ahead given so many releases have been pushed back.'

'There would be a mutiny if changes weren't made and the industry could be totally ravaged if film studios held back their offerings until the 2022 ceremony to be eligible.

'What they're proposing is pushing back the ceremony, which was going to take place on February 28, to either late May or early June. Doing this means films forced to postpone their release dates can put them out later this year or in early 2021 knowing they will still be eligible for the Oscars.

'Film studios have been informed of the plans and are now drawing up their release dates accordingly. But with everything still so up in the air, it's all rather tentative at the moment.'

Last month the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which governs the awards ceremony, announced that it had changed its rules to allow films released on a streaming service without a theatrical run to be eligible.

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