This year's Oscars will be a celebration of movie heroes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.
The show "will honor big-screen real-life heroes, super heroes, popular heroes and animated heroes, both past and present, as well as the bold filmmakers who bring them to life," show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a news release.
Among the on-screen heroes whose films are potentially in Oscar contention this year are real-life figures such as Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips"), Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyers Club") and Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor in "12 Years a Slave"); fictional characters such as Sandra Bullock's stranded astronaut in "Gravity" and Robert Redford's shipwrecked sailor in "All Is Lost"; pop-culture icons such as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire") and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man 3"); and anti-heroes such as Christian Bale's con artist in "American Hustle" and Leonard DiCaprio's white-collar crook in "The Wolf of Wall Street."
To coincide with the Oscar theme, the academy will present a new exhibition, "The Oscars Celebrates Movie Heroes," at its Beverly Hills headquarters.
Oscar nominations will be announced Thursday morning by another screen hero, Thor himself, a.k.a. Chris Hemsworth.
The show won't be solely devoted to heroism, though. With Ellen DeGeneres hosting, "there will be no shortage of comedy," the release said, adding, "There may also be a few musical surprises along the way."
The Oscars will be held March 2.