Academy responds to coronavirus outbreak and impact on the Oscars

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

The body which oversees the Oscars says it is committed to being “nimble and forward-thinking” in response to the coronavirus pandemic causing havoc across the entertainment industry.

Hollywood’s release schedule has been thrown into turmoil, with major films including James Bond movie No Time To Die and Disney’s Mulan remake among those delayed.

Theatres in the US have also closed while some studios have opted to debut theatrical films via on-demand services.

This presents a headache for the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ eligibility rules, which state a film must have a seven-day theatrical release in a Los Angeles County commercial cinema.

Any movie premiering digital-only would, under the current rules, be disqualified from the Oscars.

However, in a statement, the Academy indicated it was willing to adapt to the global health crisis.

“The Academy is focused on helping our staff, our members, and the industry safely navigate through this global health and economic crisis,” it said.

“We are in the process of evaluating all aspects of this uncertain landscape and what changes may need to be made.

“We are committed to being nimble and forward-thinking as we discuss what is best for the future of the industry and will make further announcements in the coming days.”

One film that would currently fall foul of the Academy’s eligibility rules is computer-animated sequel Trolls On Tour.

It had been set to arrive in US cinemas on April 10. However, if theatres remain closed, it will be released solely on home entertainment.

The original Trolls earned an Oscar nomination for best original song for Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling!

The 93rd Oscars are set to take place next February 28.