The 2021 Oscars Won't Go Virtual, In-Person Telecast Confirmed

The past year with COVID-19 has not only disrupted the production and distribution of films and television, but also forced the awards recognition for them to react to the changing world and quarantine. The Emmy Awards were held virtually earlier this year with cameras present in most of the nominees homes as they awaited to see if they would win. It wouldn't be too outlandish to imagine next year's Academy Awards going down a similar path, but The Academy has confirmed in a new report that an "in-person telecast will happen" and that there will be no virtual Oscars.

According to Variety, a rep for The Academy confirmed the news, noting: “The Oscars in-person telecast will happen." A secondary source told the Hollywood trade that “The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options." Though this apparently is the plan for the event, it remains to be seen how quickly a COVID-19 vaccination will be able to be distributed across the country and whether local restrictions in California or Los Angeles might make these plans moot.

There's also the possibility that nominees for the awards will choose not to attend. If there's one thing that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us it's that we literally can't predict what the next week might bee like, let alone four months from now.

Originally set for February 28th of next year, the 93rd Academy Awards have already been postponed until April 25, 2021. This delay will allow the window of competition to be extended for the awards, making the field of entries even bigger. Though typically the eligibility window runs from January to December, this year's awards will honor films released from January 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021.

Some rule changes have also been implemented, making it possible for anything that was originally scheduled to debut in theaters and then converted to a streaming release allowed to compete in the awards. Films that premiere in drive-ins will be allowed to count that toward the mandatory theatrical exhibition as well.

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Though plenty of awards worthy movies have been released on streaming services or will be released on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu in the near future, many film fans have wondered what this year's Oscars might look like. Fans flocked to social media after reports of a postponement first began to circulate, jokingly speculating that The Academy was considering it to prevent a sweep in all categories by early 2020 releases like Trolls World Tour and Birds of Prey.

(Cover photo by Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images)