The Academy has chosen three first-time Oscar producers for the delayed 2021 show: Emmy-nominated Grammy Show producer Jesse Collins will team with filmmakers Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh, who worked together on Oscar-winner “Erin Brockovich,” to produce the 93rd Oscars which, due to the pandemic will air live on ABC and around the world on Sunday, April 25, two months later than usual.
There has been some debate about what form the Oscar show will take, whether in-person or in hybrid form like the Emmys. Clearly, the Academy will do what it takes to keep participants safe. Directing Oscar winner Soderbergh (“Traffic”) has earned recent praise, not only for his filmmaking, but for leading the taskforce at the Directors Guild of America that has set COVID safety guidelines for the industry.
“The upcoming Oscars is the perfect occasion for innovation and for re-envisioning the possibilities for the awards show,” stated Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in an official statement. “This is a dream team who will respond directly to these times. The Academy is excited to work with them to deliver an event that reflects the worldwide love of movies and how they connect us and entertain us when we need them the most.”
In a shared statement, Collins, Sher, and Soderbergh said, “We’re thrilled and terrified in equal measure. 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, and we hope to create a show that really FEELS like the movies we all love.”
Collins has produced multiple awards shows and events including the Grammy Awards, BET Awards, UNCF An Evening of Stars, Black Girls Rock!, and Soul Train Awards, and such television series and specials as “John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero,” “Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices,” “Change Together: From the March on Washington to Today,” “Sunday Best,” “American Soul,” “Rhythm + Flow,” and “The New Edition Story.” Collins will also co-executive produce the upcoming 2021 Grammy Awards and executive produce the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show.
Sher is known for her collaborations with Quentin Tarantino, including Best Picture Oscar contender “Django Unchained” (2012). She produced (or executive produced) “Pulp Fiction,” “The Hateful Eight,” “Contagion,” “Garden State,” “Man on the Moon,” “Out of Sight,” “Gattaca,” “Get Shorty,” and “Reality Bites.” Her television credits include Emmy nominee “Mrs. America,” “Reno 911!,” “Into the Badlands,” and “Sweet/Vicious.” Coming up is the Aretha Franklin biographical film “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson, which was pushed back from December 2020 to August 2021.
Soderbergh launched his career at Sundance 1989 with his feature debut “sex, lies, and videotape,” which earned a writing nomination. The prolific writer-director-producer-cinematographer-editor has directed more than 30 films in a three-decade career, including “Magic Mike,” “Contagion,” the “Ocean’s” trilogy, “Out of Sigh,t” and debuting this month on HBO Max, “Let Them All Talk.” He also has produced (or executive produced) projects for both film and television, including “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” “The Report,” “Ocean’s Eight,” “Citizenfour,” “Michael Clayton,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and two seasons of his own series, “The Knick.”