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SYFY WIRE Academy Awards

WIRE Buzz: Oscars delayed to April 25, shakes up awards rules; Horrorstör film

By Jacob Oller
Oscars Academy Awards golden statues

Only a few days after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided that the future of the Oscars would entail a set number of Best Picture nominees and new qualification standards that would involve "representation and inclusion," and those obsessed with awards season are going back to their calendars and reconfiguring their brackets. Not only are The Academy Awards moving back a few months, the eligibility period for this year's best films will be expanded to reflect the very odd and empty box office that the coronavirus left to moviegoers.

According to Deadline, the 93rd Academy Awards is moving back to April 25, 2021, almost two months away from its original date of February 28. That's the latest the Oscars have aired since 1953. Pretty crazy. But perhaps the strangest part of the move is that a new time period — starting now through February 28, 2021 — now qualifies for the Oscars. The early winter months when studios typically dumped films that didn't warrant high expectations are now prime battlegrounds for awards contenders. Let's not even touch what this is going to mean for all the awards bodies that typically make their announcements on the road to the Academy Awards.

Just like when the massive blockbusters of summer were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, this will likely set off a chain reaction of delays, moving everything fans know about awards season back. ABC, the network that will broadcast the Oscars, is basically playing it by ear.

"We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event that also captures the excitement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures," said ABC president Karey Burke.

Also impacted is the Museum of Motion Pictures, which was planned to open on December 14 of this year, and will now follow next year's ceremony and open on April 30. The Academy Awards will take place on April 25.

Next, one of the strangest and funniest concepts for a horror story ever — an evil, haunted, Nordic furniture store — is coming to the big screen.

According to Deadline, Grady Hendrix's Horrorstör is getting the feature film treatment from New Republic Pictures as the company recently optioned the writer's debut novel. While the story has been on the multimedia development circuit for a while (trying to fit as a TV show), Hendrix will write the script for this terrifying film about Cleveland's Orsk furniture superstore and all its haunted and hard-to-pronounce denizens. Only the employees, staying in the store overnight, can solve the mystery of its midnight machinations.

"I wrote Horrorstör to be simultaneously funny and scary, while paying tribute to the retail warriors who staff our big box stores," Hendrix explained. "Having the opportunity to adapt my novel into a movie is a dream come true. I couldn’t be more excited about taking an audience and trapping them overnight with me in the flatpack hell that is Orsk — the ultimate haunted house, full of Infinite aisles, murderous ghosts, and incomprehensible faux-Scandinavian names."

No director is yet attached to the project.