The Academy announces first new Oscar category in over 20 years, but it’s still not for stunts

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announces the first new Oscar category in over twenty years, but it’s still not for stunts.

Last Updated on February 26, 2024

New Oscar category

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced today that they will begin presenting a new Oscar category, the first in over twenty years. The new award will recognize achievement in casting and will first be presented during the 2026 Oscar ceremony. Prior to this, the last new Oscar category was Best Animated Feature, which was announced in 2001, with Shrek taking home the inaugural award.

In a statement, current Academy president Janet Yang and CEO Bill Kramer said: “Casting directors play an essential role in filmmaking, and as the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognize and celebrate. We congratulate our casting directors branch members on this exciting milestone and for their commitment and diligence throughout this process.

Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Coleman, and Debra Zane, three governors of the Academy’s casting director branch, added, “On behalf of the members of the casting directors branch, we’d like to thank the board of governors, the awards committee and Academy leadership for their support. This award is a deserved acknowledgment of our casting directors’ exceptional talents and a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch.” The specifics regarding eligibility and voting for the first casting Oscar will be announced in April 2025 as part of the rules for the 98th Academy Awards.

Do casting directors deserve an Oscar category for themselves? Certainly, but many have been wondering when stunt performers and stunt coordinators will be recognized as well. Those who have called for a stunt Oscar include John Wick director Chad Stahelski, who said last summer that talks with the Academy have actually been quite positive. “We’ve been meeting with members of the Academy and actually having these conversations, and, to be honest, it’s been nothing but incredibly positive, incredibly instructional,” Stahelski said. “I think, for the first time, we’ve made real movement forward to making this happen.” The director added that he could see it happening in the next three or four years at the latest.

Awards ceremonies haven’t been the ratings juggernauts they once were, with the Oscars steadily falling for the last decade. Speaking just from an audience perspective, I’d imagine that most would be much more interested in a stunt category rather than casting. Throughout the nearly four-hour telecast, most viewers simply don’t care about categories outside the major ones, but stunts might prove to be an exception.

Source: THR

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.