The five songs nominated at this year’s Oscars will be performed from the top of the Academy’s gleaming new film museum – and a tiny fishing town in Iceland – as producers aim to shake up the format of the pandemic-hit ceremony.
“Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr will be among those performing from the roof terrace of Los Angeles’ still-unopened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which has been in development for years but, like the Oscars, saw its launch delayed due to Covid-19.
His song “Speak Now” from civil rights drama “One Night in Miami” will form part of a special Oscars pre-show — as will the ballad “Husavik” from the Will Ferrell comedy “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” performed from the Icelandic port of the same name.
“We’ve come up with some serious pre-game and post-game action to enhance our main event,” Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh and his fellow gala co-producers said in a statement Friday.
“Our suggestion is just tune in for the whole shebang, otherwise you’ll miss something really unexpected and fun.”
This year’s Oscars are following an “awards-show-as-a-movie” theme, and will primarily be held, with social distancing de rigueur, at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt and Reese Witherspoon are among the A-list lineup of presenters, marking the first time Tinseltown’s biggest names will gather on the red carpet since last spring.
Venues in Britain and France will also be set up for international nominees unable to travel to Los Angeles.
Musical pre-show “Oscars: Into the Spotlight” will also feature performances from multiple Grammy winner H.E.R. and 12-time Oscar song nominee Diane Warren, who have nods this year for “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The Life Ahead,” respectively.
Producers also announced a post-show dubbed “Oscars: After Dark,” which will feature the night’s big winners having their golden statuettes engraved, along with star interviews.
The 93rd Academy Awards take place on April 25, while the group’s museum will open on September 30.