Everything you need to know about the 94th Academy Awards (2024)

Hollywood's biggest night is back.

This year's Oscars are returning to the beloved Dolby Theatre on Sunday after having switched to a more Covid-friendly venue last year. For the first time since 2018, the show will have hosts again. And, of course, parties (lots of them) are being held all across Los Angeles.

But there's still a global pandemic — so there will still be some changes to the show.

Here's everything you need to know about the 94th Academy Awards.

Who's hosting?

After a few host-less years, the Oscars are bringing not one but three people to the stage to keep viewers entertained.

Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall were officially named as the hosts last month — marking the first time the ceremony has had a host since Jimmy Kimmel took the stage in 2018.

Everything you need to know about the 94th Academy Awards (1)

Kevin Hart, the comedian who was tapped to emcee the show in 2019, exited in anoutcry over past hom*ophobic tweets, and the group behind the Oscarscarried on without a host.

Who else will be there?

Presenters, performers and some nominees.

This year’s Oscars will be smaller than in the pre-pandemic days. The Dolby normally seats 3,317 people, but this year just 2,500 are invited (including nominees), according to The New York Times.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences released its final slate of presenters Wednesday: Josh Brolin, Jacob Elordi, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Momoa, Jill Scott, J.K. Simmons, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Rachel Zegler (the "West Side Story" star's fans were outraged after she initially shared on social media that she had not been invited).

The previously announced presenters include: Halle Bailey, Stephanie Beatriz, Ruth E. Carter, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, DJ Khaled, Jennifer Garner, Tiffany Haddish, Woody Harrelson, Tony Hawk, H.E.R., Anthony Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Lily James, Daniel Kaluuya, Zoë Kravitz, Mila Kunis, Lady Gaga, John Leguizamo, Simu Liu, Rami Malek, Shawn Mendes, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o, Elliot Page, Rosie Perez, Tyler Perry, Chris Rock, Tracee Ellis Ross, Naomi Scott, Kelly Slater, Wesley Snipes, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Shaun White and Yuh-Jung Youn.

The Hollywood Reporter also reported Thursday that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is bringing Boman Martinez-Reid, Rickey Thompson, Remi Bader, Denzel Dion and other creators to the ceremony to create short-form content on Reels. A spokesperson for Meta did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the news.

Who's performing?

Get ready to bust a move at home.

Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Reba McEntire and Sebastián Yatrawill all perform their nominated songs. They include:

  • “Be Alive” from “King Richard” — performed by Beyoncé (who is behind the music and lyric alongside Dixson)
  • “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto” — performed by Yatra (music and lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who could EGOT if the song wins in this category). While the hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” wasn't nominated, producers of this year's telecast announced Thursday that the “Encanto” cast (Adassa,Stephanie Beatriz,Mauro Castillo,Carolina Gaitan andDiane Guerrero,along withBecky GandLuis Fonsi) will perform it, as well, at some point.
  • “No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die” — performed by Eilish and Finneas, who also are behind the music and lyrics
  • “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days” — performed by McEntire (music and lyrics by Diane Warren)

"Van Morrison was invited to perform his nominated song but will not attend the Oscars due to his tour schedule, therefore 'Down to Joy' from 'Belfast' will not be performed on the broadcast," the academy said in a news release.

Also taking the stage will be a band "featuring the show’s music directorAdam Blackstone, blink-182 drummerTravis Barker, percussionist and singerSheila E. and genre-spanning pianistRobert Glasper," the academy said. DJ D-Nice, known for his virtual Club Quarantine parties on Instagram, will perform, as well.

What's the deal with Covid?

Well, Covid-19 is still a thing (especially with that BA.2 subvariant of the omicron variant). That means those in Hollywood are remaining cautious while still proceeding as normally as possible.

Some in the industry suspect that the March 13British Academy Film Awards, held in London, led to a number of Covid-19 infections, some of them among prominent Oscar nominees, The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times reported.

At Sunday's show, guests will be required to show proof of vaccination and two negative Covid tests, The New York Times reported. But presenters and performers will not be required to be vaccinated. They just need to show proof that they have tested negative for the coronavirus.

That is, of course, a shift from last year's April 25 show, which was relocated to Union Station, where the audience was just 170 people.

Was there any drama related to the awards show this year?

Some.

The academy drew backlash on social media afternews broke thateight categories won’t be telecast live.

Of the 23 categories, eight — documentary short, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live action short and sound — will be handed out before the ceremony is broadcast live on ABC on March 27, Varietyand other outlets reported.

In an interview with Variety this month, Will Packer, the producer of this year’stelecast, said it was "the right decision."

“We have to understand that theAcademy Awardsshow as we know it is at an inflection point," Packer said. "The next coming years, especially this year, are going to be a harbinger for what this show will become.

“You have to do something else, and you have to think about this as an entertainment property,” he added. "The Oscars are no different than any of the other award shows that are having that same challenges.”

Packer told Variety that "nobody is going to be shortchanged by this decision to try to make the show more efficient, expedited and make more people watch the show."

He emphasized that all nominees will "have a moment."

"All the nominees for all the categories will hear their names in that show," he said. "The winner will have their speech. You’ll hear from theminthe show. Most viewers will not be able to tell the difference.”

What else is different about the show this year?

The academy for the first time allowed Twitter users to vote for their favorite movies of 2021 — regardless of whether they were nominated.

People were able to vote for their favorite films of the year with the #OscarsFanFavorite hashtag on Twitter.

Last but not least: Where and when to watch

The Oscars air Sunday on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. Follow along with NBC News on our live blog.

Saba Hamedy

is culture and trends editor for NBC News Digital.

Wilson Wong

contributed

.

Everything you need to know about the 94th Academy Awards (2024)

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