We can officially cross one of this year's must-watch Oscar subplots off our list, with the Academy announcing a rare exception of four producers for Best Picture nominee The Reader.
As presumed, any scenario edging out the late Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella would have been anathema to the Academy and their Mirage Enterprises colleagues alike, but the Oscars' ironclad "three-producer" rule would have necessitated choosing one or the other of co-producers Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris — both responsible for much of the actual work rushing The Reader to eligibility in 2008. Then there was the Rudin Factor, bolstered by recent rumors that the man who yanked his name after a grievous tiff with Harvey Weinstein wasn't prepared to leave awards season empty-handed, or at least without another invitation to the annual nominees luncheon.
But Rudin is officially out for good, and Gigliotti and Morris will join their late counterparts in spirit on Feb. 22 per a release distributed this afternoon:
Because four producers were listed on the credits form submitted for Oscar consideration and Academy rules allow for only three producers – except in “a rare and extraordinary circumstance” – to be nominated and potentially receive Oscar statuettes, a meeting of the executive committee was necessary. In the end, the committee determined that the circumstances of The Reader – in which the two original producers (Minghella and Pollack) both died partway through the process – met its definition of “rare and extraordinary” and that all four submitted individuals should be named as nominees.
We agree — it's only fair. And anything that keeps Martin Vega extra busy is fine by us.
- ‘The Reader’ Goes Forward With Four Producers [Carpetbagger]