At 50, O’Brien is the oldest host to take the stage, one that’s been dominated by millennials in past years. Not that it’s a bad thing. This could be O’Brien’s way of luring in a younger fan base for “Conan.” (Ben Margo / AP Photo)
FEMALE PERFORMANCE: Amy Adams
MALE PERFORMANCE: Bradley Cooper
KISS: Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams
ON-SCREEN DUO: Amy Adams and Christian Bale
ON-SCREEN TRANSFORMATION: Christian Bale
CAMEO PERFORMANCE: Robert De Niro (Francois Duhamel / Columbia Pictures / AP photo)
FEMALE PERFORMANCE: Jennifer Lawrence
MALE PERFORMANCE: Josh Hutcherson
FIGHT: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin vs. Mutant Monkeys
SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE: Sam Claflin
VILLAIN: Donald Sutherland
ON-SCREEN TRANSFORMATION: Elizabeth Banks (Murray Close / Lionsgate)
MALE PERFORMANCE: Leonardo DiCaprio
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Margot Robbie
COMEDIC PERFORMANCE: Jonah Hill
ON-SCREEN DUO: Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio
SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE: Leonardo DiCaprio
#WTF MOMENT: The Lude Scene
MUSICAL MOMENT: Leonardo DiCaprio Pops and Locks (Mary Cybulski / Paramount Pictures / AP Photo)
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Will Poulter
KISS: Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter
COMEDIC PERFORMANCE: Jason Sudeikis
SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE: Jennifer Aniston
MUSICAL MOMENT: Will Poulter Sings “Waterfalls” (Michael Tackett / Warner Bros.)
FIGHT: Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs
ON-SCREEN PERFORMANCE: Orlando Bloom
HERO: Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros. Pictures)
FEMALE PERFORMANCE: Lupita Nyong’o
MALE PERFORMANCE: Chiwetel Ejiofor
VILLAIN: Michael Fassbender (Francois Duhamel / Fox Searchlight / AP photo)
#WTF MOMENT: The RV Crash
CAMEO PERFORMANCE: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Also Kanye West (Gemma LaMana / Paramount Pictures)
KISS: Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller (A24 Films)
#WTF MOMENT: Danny’s New Pet
MUSICAL MOMENT: Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson Perform in Heaven
CAMEO PERFORMANCE: Rihanna (Suzanne Hanover / Columbia Pictures - Sony / AP Photo)
MUSICAL MOMENT: Melissa McCarthy Sings “Barracuda” (Bob Mahoney / Universal Pictures)
HERO: Chris Hemsworth as Thor (Jay Maidment / Walt Disney Studios/Marvel / AP Photo/)
The MTV Movie Awards depart pretty seriously from most award shows, forsaking prestige and formality -- and, for that matter, voting by an elite body -- in favor of freewheeling fun, fan-driven prizes, 11-pound gilded popcorn trophies and zany honors like best shirtless performance and most WTF moment.
Still, though an unabashedly commercial affair -- its April date was chosen mainly so studios could hype spring and summer movies -- the ceremony offers a temperature read on what will be popular in the months ahead, and can offer some entertaining television to boot.
Here are five story lines to watch for during this year’s awards, which MTV will broadcast Sunday evening from the Nokia Theatre.
Conan O’Brien’s youth appeal: During the reign of Jay Leno and David Letterman, Conan O’Brien was the subversive rebel of late-night TV, the guy younger audiences identified with and gravitated toward. But now that Jimmy Fallon has taken over “The Tonight Show” and Stephen Colbert is poised to replace Letterman on “Late Night,” it’s clear O’Brien will have to fight for Millennial attention. The MTV Movie Awards, then, represent a chance for O’Brien to prove his relevance to a youthful demographic. (It’s worth noting that at 50, O’Brien is the oldest performer ever to host the show, which tends to favor 20- and 30-something emcees.)
The Shailene Show. Indie and TV actress Shailene Woodley took a Jennifer Lawrence-like step toward megastardom this year by kicking off her own dystopian YA franchise, “Divergent,” and has a much-anticipated movie coming up in the romantic drama “The Fault in Our Stars.” During the Movie Awards pre-show, Woodley and co-star Ansel Elgort will show off the first completed scene from the John Green adaptation. So far this year, “Divergent” was a solid but not spectacular hit (though studio Summit has enough faith to be planning three sequels). Now the question is whether “Fault” can surpass that success, and lift Woodley along with it.
Guaranteed gold for Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum. At 42, Mark Wahlberg is already an elder statesman in the MTV universe, which therefore makes him eligible for the Generation Award, its equivalent of a lifetime achievement prize. The award will be presented to Wahlberg by the cast of “Entourage,” the bro-centric HBO series produced by Wahlberg and partly based on his early days in Hollywood. Conveniently, there’s an “Entourage” movie in the works, scheduled for release next summer. Wahlberg also will be there to flog the new “Transformers” movie, subtitled “Age of Extinction” and due out in June.
Speaking of special awards, Channing Tatum will become the first non-Emma to receive MTV’s Trailblazer Award, after Emma Stone and Emma Watson. So does Tatum have any movies coming up, say, this summer? Naturally. There’s “22 Jump Street” in June and “Jupiter Ascending” in July.
Paul Walker remembered. Amid the unpredictable antics, shameless self-promotion and pyrotechnic music performances, the Movie Awards will observe a rare moment of solemnity to memorialize the late “Fast and Furious” actor Paul Walker, who died Thanksgiving weekend in a single-car crash. “Fast” co-star Jordana Brewster will take the stage to speak about Walker and introduce a video tribute. Walker and “Fast 6" co-star Vin Diesel are also nominated for best on-screen duo, an award that will be presented during an unrelated portion of the show.
Superhero showdown. The summer movie season has become synonymous with superhero movies, and this year is no different. The Movie Awards will tease two of them, both opening in May. Ellen Page will appear on stage to introduce a sneak peek at “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” an “Avengers"-like attempt to unite the contemporary characters of the original trilogy with their 1962 counterparts from “X-Men: First Class.”
Not to be outdone, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx will appear in a taped segment previewing “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the second installment of the Marc Webb-directed reboot that has designs on at least two more sequels as well as “Venom” and “Sinister Six” spinoffs. There are no doubt plenty of MTV Movie Awards segments in those movies’ futures as well.