It's a known fact that an Oscar is one of the most prestigious awards an actor can receive.
Actors vie for the golden trophy throughout their careers, but only a lucky few have the honor to place a statue on their mantle.
"I feel as though I'm standing on magic legs in a special effects process shot that is too unbelievable to imagine and far too costly to make a reality," Tom Hanks said in his 1995 acceptance speech for "Best Actor" for his role in Forrest Gump.
"But here is my mark, and there is where I'm supposed to look. And believe me, the power and the pleasure and the emotion of this moment is a constant the speed of light."
While several A-list celebrities like Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and Johnny Depp have yet to earn the distinguished award, the Academy's board of governors have just approved several changes to the award show, including a new category that may help give them a shot.
The overhaul comes five months after it was announced the 2018 Academy Awards was the lowest rated televised show in its 90 year history.
The 2019 viewing will see it cut down to three hours instead of its approximate four, which will be achieved by "present[ing] select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks," according to a statement by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
However, viewers will still see the the winning moments later on in the broadcast after they've been edited for length.
The 91st Academy Awards will also introduce the "Achievement in Popular Film" category, which is expected to target popular superhero films.
Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe CEO Kevin Feige has already been promoting Black Panther to become nominated for the new category, which is could be up against other popular candidates like Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
Here is the complete message sent out by the Academy's Board of Governors:
Last night, the Board of Governors met to elect new board officers, and discuss and approve significant changes to the Oscars telecast.
The Board of Governors, staff, Academy members, and various working groups spent the last several months discussing improvements to the show.
Tonight, the Board approved three key changes:
1. A three-hour Oscars telecast
We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.
To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast.
2. New award category
We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film. Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming.
3. Earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars
The date of the 92nd Oscars telecast will move to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.
The 91st Oscars telecast remains as announced on Sunday, February 24, 2019.
We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.
We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you."
Following the announcement, film fanatics were quick to voice their opinion on social media, with the majority of people believing the new category will cheapen the award show's integrity.
So the Oscars are adding a new category for "most popular movie". This isn't the MTV or Kids Choice Awards, guys. The Oscars should recognize the people behind the magic of movies, not how much they make in the box office.— Quantum Surge (@Quantum_Surge64) August 8, 2018
Sssoooo the Academy is looking to increase viewers of the Oscars broadcast by adding a "most popular film" category and not airing each and every award. WTF!? How about just making about the movies and not a soap box for political agendas!?— John Konecny (@johnkonecny) August 9, 2018
The addition of the popular film category at the oscars is a slap in the face to film lovers. The awards are about filmmaking not popularity. If people haven’t heard of the films they aren’t films fans. Let’s honor stunt people, music supervisors and casting directors instead.— KT Fantastic (@KTfantastic) August 9, 2018
Popular film is literally just gonna be like a participation award, cause all it’s gonna include are majority CBM’s and 99% of CBM’s our right now are too mediocre to have any type of Oscar— Ⓖⓞⓣⓗⓐⓜ (@batmanleagues) August 8, 2018
The addition of "Best Popular Film" bothers me because it implies that A) "Oscar movies" aren't successful at the box office, which is generally untrue, and B) that mass consumption inherently equals awards-worthy merit, which EVERYONE knows it doesn't. #Oscars— Dylan Brandsema (@SneakyOstrich69) August 8, 2018
However, there are still a handful of individuals who are in favor of the new category and are coming to the Board of Governors' defense for their controversial decision.
just bc the Oscars added a popular films category doesn’t mean that film is dead, it means that movies that people value and enjoy get credit aka every marvel movie will now officially be academy award winners— Ken☾ (@Kendall_Lee69) August 9, 2018
The people who seem most offended by the Oscars adding a popular film category are almost entirely the same ones who hate on it for being out-of-touch and elitist. pic.twitter.com/ceNZQ2CQKB— Jason Dueck (@VorpalJason) August 9, 2018
How do you feel about the changes to the Oscars? Will you still be tuning in? Let us know in the comments!
[H/T: The Hollywood Reporter]