Organizers announced Thursday that a new Oscar for best casting will be added to the Academy Awards in 2026. It will be the first new competitive golden statuette added to Hollywood’s most prestigious award show in more than two decades. “Casting directors play an important role in filmmaking, and as the Academy grows, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines we recognize and celebrate,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang said in a statement.
Casting directors are some of the first key personnel to join new film projects. They play an important role in shaping the films that eventually make it to the big screen, hiring A-list actors and performers for minor roles. A campaign to include the annual category has been going on for several years. Stunt performers have also been lobbying for their own Oscar but have yet to be successful.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ statement did not specify whether the casting award would be presented during the live Oscar show. Currently, all 23 existing categories are presented live at the gala. An attempt to speed up the ceremony by pre-recording certain categories with lesser-known nominees in 2022 was met with industry backlash and abandoned the following year. The most recent new Oscar was created in 2001 for best-animated film.
The Academy occasionally presents nine honorary (non-competitive) awards in addition to the Academy Award of Merit (Oscar), except the Student Academy Awards, Technical Achievement Award, and Academy Honorary Award, which are given out annually.
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