Academy expected to postpone 2021 Oscars and extend eligibility window

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Hollywood, CA/ USA - July 26, 2018: Oscar golden award in a souvenir store on Hollywood Boulevard. Success and victory concept
(Credit: Getty)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is reportedly poised to postpone the 2021 Oscars.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a virtual meeting of the 54 governors of the Academy will happen today, and is likely to see the biggest night in the movie world calendar delayed 'by as many as eight weeks'.

It is currently set to take place on 28 February, 2021.

The industry magazine also reports that the eligibility window for Oscar entries will also be extended beyond 31 December, 2020.

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The move comes in the wake of the widespread disruption to the movie business caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but it is not unprecedented.

The ceremony was delayed in 1938, due to flooding in Los Angeles, in 1968 following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, and in 1981 after the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

A delay of the Oscars would be just the latest in a series of key events being postponed, including both the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals.

Director Bong Joon-ho poses with the Palme d'Or award for the film 'Parasite' during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 25, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Director Bong Joon-ho poses with the Palme d'Or award at Cannes, 2019 (Credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

It was initially hoped that Cannes, which normally happens in May, would be pushed to June or July.

But in April, festival director Thierry Frémaux told Variety that making the 2020 event a virtual festival 'wouldn't work'.

The upheaval in the movie business has been historic, with cinemas around the world closing down for months as country after country went into lockdown.

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The US box office recorded zero takings for the first time in history at the end of March.

Hundreds of film productions have also been affected by the pandemic, with the likes of Mission: Impossible 7, The Batman and Avatar 2 all halting production.

Many of this year's high-profile releases have also been delayed, including new Bond movie No Time To Die, Marvel's Black Widow and Disney's live-action remake of Mulan.

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