The Academy Awards will now include a fresh category for recognizing exceptional casting, marking the first competitive award to be added in over two decades.
After a prolonged struggle by casting directors, they have finally been recognized at the ceremony. This category will be introduced at the 2026 Academy Awards.
The Academy’s CEO, Bill Kramer, and president, Janet Yang, released a statement expressing their pride in recognizing and celebrating the crucial role of casting directors in the film-making industry as the Academy continues to evolve. They also congratulate the members of the Casting Directors Branch for achieving this significant milestone and for their dedication and hard work throughout the process.
The Branch of Casting Directors, which was founded in 2023, reacted to the announcement by stating it was a “well-deserved recognition” and “a tribute to the hard work of our branch.”
The most recent addition of a competitive category was in 2001 when the Academy created the Oscar for best animated feature film. The Television Academy added an Emmy award for casting in the 1990s, which was last awarded to the team behind The White Lotus.
Chad Stahelski, the director of the upcoming film John Wick: Chapter 4, has been actively advocating for the recognition of stunt performers at the Oscars. In a statement last year, Stahelski shared that meetings with members of the Academy have been productive and both parties are supportive of the initiative. It appears that stunts will finally have a place at the highly coveted awards ceremony.
The inclusion of the casting Oscar will increase the total number of awards presented to 24.
The Oscars for next month will be held on March 10th, and the top nominations are for Oppenheimer, Poor Things, and Killers of the Flower Moon.