89th Academy Awards Taps ‘Social Network’ and ‘Live By Night’ Producers
This awards season is off to a tardy start across the board, with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences taking a bit longer than usual to select the producers of their annual Oscars ceremony. After a few months of speculation, the Academy has finally set a creative team to produce the 89th awards telecast: Three-time Oscar-nominated producer Michael DeLuca and Emmy-nominated producer Jennifer Todd.
The Academy sent out an official release to announce the producers of next year’s telecast, which is scheduled for February 26, 2017. DeLuca earned Best Picture nominations for The Social Network, Moneyball and Captain Phillips, and is the former president of production at Sony Pictures. He has backed over 60 films, including Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and more recently the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Todd is the president of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Pearl Street Films banner, and produced Affleck’s upcoming noir thriller Live by Night. Her other producing credits include films like the Austin Powers series, Memento and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Some trades had speculated that the Academy could hire DeLuca and his producing partner Dana Brunetti to co-run the 89th annual awards telecast. It’s not clear if that pairing was ever seriously considered, though Brunetti’s potential chances may have been affected by the bold vision he shared with Vanity Fair back in September:
If I produce the Oscars, it’s not going to be a four-hour show. We’re going to get rid of some of the awards, get rid of some of the dance numbers. What everyone’s waiting for is best actor, best actress, best director, best picture — everything that is at the end. They have all of these other awards at the front that the audience really doesn’t care about. Then what ends up happening is that the winners that everyone cares about finally get on stage, and they are rushed because the show is out of time.
He’s not entirely wrong, but those are some drastic changes to make for an Academy that prides itself on tradition — sometimes to its own detriment.