MOVIE NEWS – The Oscar for best casting will be awarded from 2026, but the introduction of the new category raises questions in other areas as well.
The newly announced Oscar category is an excellent addition to the historic list of Academy Awards. But it only scratches the surface of the other necessary accolades. Starting in 2026, the Academy will have a new award and nomination category for Best Casting. The 98th Academy Awards will be the first to feature the new category, with films competing from 2025 onwards.
The award for best acting is the first time the Academy Awards have added a new category since 2001, when they added the category for best animated film, which was first awarded to Shrek at the 74th Academy Awards.
Adding to this, the award finally shines a spotlight on one of the most overlooked areas of the pre-production process. It is an integral part of all professional films and television shows. The decisions, intuition and insight of Hollywood casting directors can easily decide whether or not a TV series or movie will happen before shooting begins. The new Oscar category provides long-awaited recognition to the industry’s best casting professionals. This compares their contribution to the work of other key players behind the scenes, such as editors, cinematographers and composers.
Some of the greatest films ever made have been elevated to such prestigious status by the efforts of the cast, including but not limited to Christopher Nolan’s 2023 ensemble juggernaut, Oppenheimer.
While there are certainly more factors at play in casting than just the discretion of the casting director, such as the director’s clout and appeal, the category as a whole deserves this new, elevated platform. The award for Best Cast celebrates the people responsible for assembling the winning ensemble.
Oscar categories should be expanded to include awards for Best Stunt and Sound/Mo-Cap work
While the addition of Best Cast is a significant step in the right direction for the Oscars and should be celebrated, it begs the question of why other deserving categories have yet to be entered despite years of interest. The fact that there is still no award for achievements in stunt work is shocking. Especially when one of the greatest Hollywood actors who ever lived, Tom Cruise, performed death-defying stunts in the Mission: Impossible franchise.
The highly anticipated Academy Award for Best Stunt Coordination was proposed and rejected every year between 1991 and 2012.
Like stunts, dubbing or sound and motion capture are two areas that have been neglected during awards season for years. Voice acting work is considered equal to live acting work. But the sound and motion picture performances have never been nominated for an Oscar in their respective acting categories. These roles are eligible for the competition. However, overall, they are unlikely to break through to the leading acting roles, even though they deserve the credit.
It is pretty disappointing, for example, that Andy Serkis has never been nominated for his portrayals of the legendary Gollam or Caesar.
The best popular film could celebrate the box office hits of each year
In addition to the continuous proposal and rejection of best stunt work, the new proposed category of best popular film has not yet entered the Oscars. Like the newly introduced Golden Globes, the Best Popular Film Oscar would celebrate the year’s biggest box office success.
While the Academy Awards have historically focused on the year’s cinematic artistic achievements, excluding the Best Box Office/Popular Picture award, misses out on Hollywood’s most important financial element.
The introduction of the Oscar for Best Cast in 2025 could also inspire the introduction of an Oscar for Best Ensemble or Best Cast. Other possible categories for future Oscars could focus on different genres of films. Like Best Horror Film, Best Action Film or even Best Independent Film. Horror and action films have historically outgrown dramas, musicals, and historical epics in the major categories. The work behind the scenes could also be highlighted with the Oscar. For example, the assistant directors who were awarded between 1932 and 1937.