Contagion director Steven Soderbergh to produce 2021 pandemic Oscars
The Academy has also enlisted Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher as ceremony producers.
A trio of decorated industry veterans will band together to produce what promises to be one of the most memorable Oscars in history.
Academy President David Rubin announced Tuesday that two-time Oscar-nominated producer Stacey Sher, Emmy nominee Jesse Collins, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh — who helmed the 2011 pandemic drama Contagion — will partner as producers for the 93rd Oscars ceremony currently scheduled to air on April 25, 2021, on ABC.
In a press statement, Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson called the upcoming telecast — to be held amid the global coronavirus outbreak that has decimated Hollywood's theatrical release schedule — the "perfect occasion for innovation and for re-envisioning the possibilities" of the annual awards show. Though recent trade reports claimed the Oscars would definitively hold an in-person event, EW has learned that no concrete decision has been made on that front.
"We're thrilled and terrified in equal measure," the producing trio said in a joint statement. "Because of the extraordinary situation we're all in, there’s an opportunity to focus on the movies and the people who make them in a new way, and we hope to create a show that really feels like the movies we all love."
Soderbergh — a prolific filmmaker whose work also includes Magic Mike, Ocean's Eleven, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape — won his first Academy Award in 2001 for directing Traffic. Sher has earned Best Picture Oscar nominations for her work in producing Django Unchained (2012) and Soderbergh's Erin Brockovich (2000).
Prior to landing the Oscars job, Collins produced various industry events such as the Grammys (for which he earned a 2019 Emmy nod), the BET Awards, and the Soul Train Awards, and is set to produce the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show next year.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Academy previously postponed the 2021 Oscars to April, which prompted most industry ceremonies (including the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes) to push back their events as well. The 2021 Oscars eligibility period was also extended from the end of 2020 through early next year.
Major contenders expected to make strong showings at the 2021 Oscars include streaming titles like Netflix's David Fincher historical piece Mank, Amazon's Regina King-directed drama One Night in Miami, and Chadwick Boseman's Netflix-bound posthumous masterpiece Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Follow along with all of EW's Awardist coverage here.