The Oscars are adding a new award in 2026—the Academy Award for Achievement in Casting— marking the first new category added to the movie awards show since 2001.
The award, according to multiple reports, will make its debut at the 98th Academy Awards in 2026, when movies from 2025 will be eligible for the recognition, the Academy said in a statement to the Associated Press and other outlets.
The creation of the award is a win for the Academy Casting Directors branch, which was created in 2013 and currently has nearly 160 members, Deadline reported.
The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film was the last award added to the awards show, debuting in 2001.
Eligibility rules and voting for the casting award will be issued in 2025.
Awards for casting have been given out by several other arts organizations including the Emmys, Spirits and the BAFTAs. Carmen Cuba, the casting director of shows like “Stranger Things” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” has been vocal about the need for a casting category at the Oscars. In a 2021 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cuba said casting directors are the first people hired and are dealt full plates of work when kicking off a movie or TV show. “If 23 categories are eligible, we should be too,” she told the Times. The power of casting was well on display for this year’s Best Picture nominees. Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” was lauded for its expansive and talented cast, boasting the likes of Best Actor nominee Cillian Murphy, Best Supporting Actor nominee Robert Downey Jr. and Best Supporting Actress nominee Emily Blunt.
Casting directors call to be included in the Oscars (Los Angeles Times)