Heading off a potential Crash controversy in the Best Picture category, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences this afternoon cleared the way for the 4 credited producers of The Hurt Locker to stand onstage and receive Oscars if the film should emerge victorious on March 7th. Academy rules limit Best Picture nominations to three producers, except in extreme cases. I’ve learned it was decided after deliberations today that Greg Shapiro, Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and Nicolas Chartier all pulled their weight and deserve the honor. A spokesperson for Summit told me all the producers were relieved by today’s decision.
*3RD UPDATE: TAMPAS said, “Academy rules state that normally no more than three producers may be named as nominees in the Best Picture category. However, the rules allow for an additional producer to be named under extraordinary circumstances. In finding that all of the producers of The Hurt Locker had fully functioned as genuine producers of the film, the committee chose to exercise the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ provision of the rules.”*
The Academy also approved the trio of producers on The Blind Side, meaning that Gil Netter and Alcon Entertainment partners Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson also will take the stage if the film wins Best Picture. In both cases, the Academy adopted the same ruling made by the Producers Guild following its own auditing process.
It is the second year in a row that Oscar has allowed four producers: last year, it permitted the quartet on The Reader after 2 of them, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, died when the film was in post-production. The only producer to feel sorry for is Jeffrey Clifford, who was deemed ineligible by the PGA on Up In The Air. The PGA decided– and the Academy accepted its recommendation — that only Daniel Dubiecki and Ivan and Jason Reitman were eligible to contend for the Best Picture trophy.