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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Benjamin Lee

Oscars to add new category for best casting

Oscar statuettes
Oscar statuettes … coming to casting directors in 2026. Photograph: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

The Oscars will introduce a new category for best achievement in casting, the Academy’s first new competitive award in more than 20 years.

The award follows a long fight by casting directors to be recognised at the ceremony. The category will roll out at the 2026 Oscars.

“Casting directors play an essential role in film-making, and as the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognize and celebrate,” said a statement from the Academy’s CEO, Bill Kramer, and president, Janet Yang. “We congratulate our Casting Directors Branch members on this exciting milestone and for their commitment and diligence throughout this process.”

The Casting Directors Branch, established in 2023, responded to the news by calling it “deserved acknowledgment” and “a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch”.

The last time a new competitive category was introduced was in 2001 with the creation of the best animated feature film Oscar. The Television Academy introduced a casting Emmy award back in the 1990s. It was most recently won by the team involved with The White Lotus.

The director of John Wick: Chapter 4, Chad Stahelski, has also been continuing to petition for an Oscar rewarding those in the stunt department. “We’ve been meeting with members of the Academy and actually having these conversations, and, to be honest, it’s been nothing but incredibly positive, incredibly instructional,” Stahelski said last year. “Everybody on both sides wants this to happen. They want stunts at the Oscars. It’s going to happen.”

The introduction of the casting Oscar will bring the number of awards handed out to 24.

Next month’s Oscars will take place on 10 March with nominations led by Oppenheimer, Poor Things and Killers of the Flower Moon.

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