OSCAR ALERT — 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, organizers 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.
Movie studios were 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 said that organizers are doing all they can to ensure a ceremony does take place at some point in 2021: “The Oscars organizers 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.
Previously, a film needed to have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theatre in order to be considered.
Under the new rules, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are made available on an on-demand service may qualify.
“We’re dealing with the unfolding reality of an unanticipated, unprecedented global health crisis and trying to be responsive to what’s going on in the world and at the same time support our filmmakers who are in a circumstance beyond their control,” Film Academy president David Rubin told The Associated Press. Dawn Hudson, the CEO of the Academy, said that they have been in ‘constant conversation with all parts of our community from studios to filmmakers to theatre owners’ to make decisions that support all.
The Oscars have been postponed only three times in its 93-year history. In 1938, flooding in Los Angeles led to a one-week delay, while another one-week delay occurred in 1968, due to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1981, the awards were delayed for a day after the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.
The ceremony has never officially been cancelled, even continuing throughout World War II.
But, let me leave you with one final query: when will you feel safe returning to the movie theater?
VAL BAT — Actor Val Kilmer is reflecting on his time playing Batman in the 1995 movie Batman Forever, revealing why he didn’t hold onto the role.
While Batman Forever was a hit at the box office, the highest-grossing movie of the year with $184 million domestic and $336.5 million worldwide, Kilmer, 60, backed out and the role went to George Clooney in 1997’s Batman & Robin.
During an extensive profile for The New York Times, Kilmer revealed he left the role because people don’t care who’s actually playing the character.
‘That’s why it’s so easy to have five or six Batmans. It’s not about Batman. There is no Batman,’ Kilmer said.
He told a story about Warren Buffett coming to visit the set with his grandkids, which required him to stay dressed up in the Batsuit.
He added that the kids didn’t want to talk to him, but just try on the mask and ride in the Batmobile, as he realized Batman isn’t meant to be a ‘real person’ but to be someone the person watching can see himself in.
Kilmer maintains that it was scheduling difficulties with his next movie, The Saint, which lead to him dropping out of the role, but another factor was that Batman Foreverdirector Joel Schumacher called him ‘psychotic’ in an interview.
The actor was traveling through Africa in 1994 when he visited a bat cave, which apparently inspired him to take the role after Michael Keaton was leaving the franchise after 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns.
While the movie did well at the box office, but Kilmer was not fond of wearing the restrictive suit, which he called, ‘a battering experience.’
Even if Kilmer would have stayed in the role, he might not have had to do so for much longer.
The next movie, 1997’s Batman & Robin, found George Clooney as Batman, with Chris O’Donnell as Robin.
That movie under-performed at the box office ($107.3 million domestic, $238.2 million worldwide from a $125 million budget), and lead Warner Bros. to essentially pull the plug on the franchise as a whole for seven years, until Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins revitalized the franchise in 2005.
Kilmer has opened up about his Hollywood history in his new autobiography I’m Your Huckleberry, the title from a famous line in his portrayal of Doc Holliday in Tombstone.
He was most recently seen in a pair of 2019 movies, Cinema Twain and Jay and SilentBob Reboot.
He has a number of movies in various stages of production, including the highly-anticipated sequel Top Gun: Maverick, which was pushed from July to a December release due to COVID-19.
HACKETT IN MY HEAD — July 2020 sees the publication of A Genesis In My Bed – the long overdue autobiography from guitar great and former member of Genesis, Steve Hackett. As with his music, Steve has written a highly detailed, entertaining and embracing tome that charts his life in full, but with a firm emphasis on his years with Genesis that saw the band’s meteoric rise to become one of the most successful British bands of all time.
Steve talks candidly about his early life, his time with Genesis, and in particular his personal relationships with the other four band members, with great insight into the daily goings on of this major rock band
Naturally, A Genesis In My Bed also regales stories of Steve’s career since leaving Genesis and the many different journeys that it has taken him on. With his flair for the creative, and a great deal of levity, A Genesis In My Bed is also a riveting read. Indispensable for Genesis fans but also essential for general music lovers and avid readers of autobiographies full of heartfelt and emotive tales.
Steve says, “It’s often revealing. There’s lace, loves and butterflies, and I explore personal feelings. I’ve answered many questions fans asked over the years too, such as why I left Genesis. It’s taken fifteen years to bring this book to fruition, writing between tours, recording and legal challenges, but that’s given me time to really develop it.”
A friend of mine was the tour publicist for Genesis, when the recorded the Three SidesLive-opus and says that the band, and Hackett, were the nicest of people. He adds he enjoyed it so much and each night got to see another of the band’s amazing show.
SHORT TAKES — Serenity Now! Face it, was there anyone funnier than Jerry Stiller, who passed yesterday. I sure do remember him and wife Anne Mera on their numerous Ed Sullivan spots and as Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, was there anyone better? RIP Mr. Stiller … you always made us laugh …
We just finished up Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood-mini-series on Netflix and just adored it. The last episode was titled a Hollywood Ending and it was just that. No one died, nothing blew up … just everything ended happily. Just a delightful romp and Jim Parsons and Patti Lupone are headed for Emmy nods. Also spectacular was Joe Mantello as Dick Samuels, studio chieftain and Rob Reiner was phenomenal. Nice to see him again …
And, we finally viewed HBO’s doc on Natalie Wood: What Remains and loved it. I hadn’t seen anything that the actress had down in quite some time and was amazed she was still as lovely and stunning as I had remembered her. Of course, there were comments from her children, Josh Donen, and RJ Wagner himself, who went to great lengths to yet again speak on her death. It’s a good story – if it bleeds, it leads – but, I have personally always believed that it was an accident. Alcohol and tempers are never a good mix. A good friend of mine, when I told him I had finally watched this, immediately dismissed Wagner as a washed-up pretty-boy. Dunno … don’t feel that at all. I loved his It Takes A Thief and later work on Hart To Hart. He’s also been pretty terrific on NCIS. Great doc, very much recommended.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Billy Amendola; Judd Bernard; Sarah Clarke; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent Kotal; Steve Walter; Eppy, Dan Kellachan; Andrew Sandoval; Rich Dart; Bob Gossweiner; Roger Chasteen; Samantha Ryan; James Edstrom; MA Cassata; Richard Branciforte; Alec Baldwin; and, BELLA!