UPDATED, 9:37 AM: ABC and the Academy just confirmed our report from last night that Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd will produce the 2017 Oscars. Next up: finding a host. “What a talented team,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “Mike and Jennifer have a great working relationship and a tremendous love and respect for film, and will surely draw from their vast experience to create an exceptional and unforgettable event for movie fans everywhere.”
Said De Luca and Todd: “We are deeply honored to produce the Academy Awards. We both revere the Oscars and grew up watching them each year with our families. We are so humbled and grateful to be a part of this incredible legacy, and look forward to creating an exciting show that celebrates movies and the power they have to connect us all.”
PREVIOUSLY, November 3: Is the long and winding road toward a choice for producers of the 2017 Oscars finally nearing an end? A source close to the matter tells Deadline that Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd are in talks for the gig and that they are who the Academy and ABC are focusing on.
The duo last year had shown interest in the job, which ultimately went to Reginald Hudlin and David Hill – De Luca and Todd are co-chairs of the PGA Awards, which kept them from producing the Oscars. But the 89th Annual Academy Awards apparently remain in their sights. De Luca is in post as producer of Fifty Shades Darker, and Todd — president of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Pearl Street Films — is working on their upcoming Syfy series Incorporated, which premieres November 30.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is late in naming its producers, compared with past years. Hudlin and Hill, for example, landed the 2016 job on September 1, 2015. The group had been putting out feelers to candidates for some time; that included the prospect of a return by producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon, who ran the 2009 trophy show. But Condon is in postproduction on Beauty and the Beast, which he is directing, and Mark is starting work on the P.T. Barnum musical The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman. Jackman hosted the Oscars when they produced it, and presumably they would have brought him back, but the timing was off. The Academy now will have to move quickly to lock in a host.
ABC clearly favors its late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who did a strong job hosting the Emmys. The Academy might have eyes on someone like The Tonight Show‘s Jimmy Fallon, who can sing, but we’ve heard it’s unlikely the network would want that.
The 89th Oscars is set for February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Our sister site Variety first reported the De Luca-Todd news tonight.