Oscars producer Michael De Luca on that fateful mistake
In an exclusive interview with The Business, Oscars producer Michael De Luca remembers the night that culminated with the biggest flub in Academy Awards show history. De Luca tells us what happened in the moments following that epic blunder and what he thinks should have happened instead.
Two days after the already infamous Oscars mix-up, we sat down with Michael De Luca who, along with Jennifer Todd, produced this year's Academy Awards show -- a first for both of them. Until the very end, the show had gone smoothly. And then it all went wrong. De Luca tells us how the night unfolded from his perspective, what he thinks should have happened, and why he wants to produce the show again next year.
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The best picture blunder continues to resonate. Several Academy members spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about what they think should happen next. Some were satisfied with cutting ties with accountants Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan, others think the entire relationship with PwC needs to be reevaluated.
By now, the moment is already part of Hollywood lore: Warren Beatty frantically searching what he thought was the best picture envelope for another card, Faye Dunaway blurting out La La Land, and a tortuous two-and-a-half minutes of producers giving speeches for an award that actually belonged to Moonlight.
Two days after that already infamous Oscars mix-up, we sat down with Michael De Luca who, along with Jennifer Todd, produced this year's Academy Awards show -- a first for both of them. Until the very end, the show had gone smoothly. And then it all went wrong.
Oscars producer Michael De Luca
De Luca is a prodigious film producer -- his credits include The Social Network and Captain Phillips, as well as 50 Shades of Grey and its recent sequel. He's also the former president of production at New Line Cinema and Dreamworks.
De Luca has been a guest of The Business before. In 2012 he came with director Bennett Miller and producer Rachael Horovitz to talk about their Oscar-nominated film Moneyball. He is well known in Hollywood for his candor.
In his first and only interview post-Oscars, De Luca takes us through the night from his perspective -- from having just cracked his third Diet Coke of the evening when first heard the news, to getting an encouraging, “buck up” phone call from Steven Spielberg.
He also tells us how he thinks things should have played out once the initial mistake was made, and why -- even after this year's epic gaffe -- he'd still be game to produce the Oscars again. He's got his eye on next year, which will be the 90th anniversary of the Academy Awards.