Oscars Hire Steven Soderbergh to Produce Ceremony, “Respond Directly” to Pandemic

The director will co-produce the awards show in April

Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh at the 76 Venice International Film Festival 2019. (Photo by Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Im

The Oscars reportedly plan to “respond directly” to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during their 2021 ceremony, and as The Independent reports, they’ve tapped Contagion director Steven Soderbergh to do it.

Soderbergh, who has also directed films like Sex, Lies and Videotape and Ocean’s Eleven, will co-produce the Oscars ceremony, which was pushed back to April 2021 as a result of the virus.

“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,” Soderbergh said in a statement. “We hope to create a show that really FEELS like the movies we all love.”

There’s no word yet on what exactly the ceremony will entail, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences noted that this year is a “perfect occasion for innovation and for re-envisioning the possibilities for the awards show.” Last week, The Hollywood Reporter cited anonymous sources close to the awards show who claimed that plans for the ceremony “remain very fluid, with numerous contingencies being planned for.”

The nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards will be announced on March 15, and they could potentially include some unconventional nods due to the fact that most studios pushed their big 2020 releases back a year after theaters closed nationwide due to the pandemic.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.