Oscars to get new casting category, still no stunts award

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Some welcome news arrives in the form of a new category at the Oscars from 2026. However, there are inevitable questions that need asking…

We all know that casting is an essential part of the moviemaking process. Not only is it crucial for getting the right actors in the right roles, it builds interest in projects, creates chemistry between stars that can elevate films and boost careers. There’s also the important element of building stars for tomorrow, something that has become increasingly apparent over the last couple of decades as Hollywood has veered away from a star system and towards IP-led projects.

You might remember that a survey last year made quite a few headlines when it revealed that there weren’t many stars under 35 that audiences would travel to the cinema to watch. Despite the best efforts of casting directors to build new stars, that’s surely a growing problem that needs to be addressed.

One wonderful way to do this could see the Oscars – the most prestigious annual awards show on the calendar – shining a light on the casting process, celebrating the talented people who make actors into stars. This in turn would also elevate the importance of the star-making process, ensuring the world pays a bit more attention to the craft of building movie stars and creating absorbing ensembles.

Happily, that’s what the Oscars intends to do, starting with its 2026 ceremony. That means that films released in the 2025 window will be eligible and the Academy has announced that it will release more details in April.

A few questions remain though. Firstly, whilst a new category (especially this one) is very welcome indeed, where will it fit? We’ve already seen previous shows try rather sketchy methods to scale down parts of the show to reduce its length. We’d like to see a casting award but not at the expense of other talented craftspeople who also deserve their due.

Then there’s stunts. Where is the Oscar for stunts? It’s long, long overdue, doubly so given how much the profession contributes to Hollywood’s success… and the danger they put themselves in to do so. This announcement must feel like a bit of a gut punch for the hard-working people in the stunt industry and whilst they are no strangers to rolling with punches, it’s unfair that they still aren’t being celebrated every year on Hollywood’s biggest night.

Hopefully, the announcement of Best Stunt Work isn’t too far behind.

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