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Yellowstone's Kevin Costner, Lady Gaga and The Batman's Zoe Kravitz lead Oscar presenters


Kevin Costner, Zoë Kravitz and Lady Gaga were among the initial list of presenters announced for the 94th Academy Awards on Thursday.

The trio of A-listers will be joined by Rosie Perez, Chris Rock and South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the 2021 ceremony for the acclaimed drama Minari.

The release of the first batch of presenters comes as the Oscars have been plunged into controversy over the show’s decision to cut eight categories from the live broadcast and to only play ‘the most potent and emotional moments’ from those acceptance speeches, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Will Packer and Shayla Cowan, the producers of the Oscars telecast, announced the first group of presenters, with more to follow ahead of the ceremony on March 27.

‘Movies inspire us, entertain us and unite us across the globe,’ Packer said in a statement. ‘That’s the precise goal of the show this year, and we’re thrilled to welcome the first of a stellar lineup joining the Oscars stage to help us celebrate the power of film and honor the year’s best in filmmaking.

It’s traditional for the Academy Awards to bring back the previous year’s Best Actress and Best Actor winners to announce those categories, though it’s not yet known if Frances McDormand — who won for Nomadland — or Anthony Hopkins — who scored a surprise win for The Father — will be returning this year.

Costner, who was nominated for Best Actor for 1990’s Dances With Wolves and won for Best Picture and Best Director, currently stars on the popular Paramount Network Western drama Yellowstone.

He plays the owner of a massive ranching bordering the iconic national park, as well as a Native American reservation and ravenous land developers. 

Former nominee: Rosie Perez, who was previously nominated for her performance in Fearless opposite Jeff Bridges, was also part of the first batch of presenters announced; seen February 28 in NYC

Former nominee: Rosie Perez, who was previously nominated for her performance in Fearless opposite Jeff Bridges, was also part of the first batch of presenters announced; seen February 28 in NYC

Talented group: Chris Rock will provide some much-needed comedy for the broadcast; seen in 2020 in Pasadena

Last year's winner: Youn Yuh-jung will likely announce one of the supporting categories; seen in April 2021

Talented group: Chris Rock will provide some much-needed comedy for the broadcast, while Youn Yuh-jung will likely announce one of the supporting categories

Lady Gaga received plenty of buzz this year for starring as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s crime drama House Of Gucci.

Though the film performed well for an adult drama, it received mixed reviews, with several finding the film overwrought, while others deemed it to be missing out on some much-needed camp.

Gaga has been nominated for her performance by other award bodies, but the role hasn’t been praised as much as her acclaimed part in A Star Is Born.

Kravitz is expected to have a blockbuster on her hands with this week’s release of The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as the eponymous caped crimefighter.

She appears in the noir-influenced superhero film as Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman. 

TV revival: Costner, who was nominated for Best Actor for 1990's Dances With Wolves and won for Best Picture and Best Director, currently stars on the popular Paramount Network Western drama Yellowstone

TV revival: Costner, who was nominated for Best Actor for 1990’s Dances With Wolves and won for Best Picture and Best Director, currently stars on the popular Paramount Network Western drama Yellowstone

Missed out: Lady Gaga received plenty of buzz this year for starring as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott's crime drama House Of Gucci. Though the film performed well for an adult drama, it received mixed reviews, with several finding the film overwrought, while others deemed it to be missing out on some much-needed camp; seen with Adam Driver

Missed out: Lady Gaga received plenty of buzz this year for starring as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s crime drama House Of Gucci. Though the film performed well for an adult drama, it received mixed reviews, with several finding the film overwrought, while others deemed it to be missing out on some much-needed camp; seen with Adam Driver

Blockbuster: Kravitz is expected to have a blockbuster on her hands with this week's release of The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as the eponymous caped crimefighter. She appears in the noir-influenced superhero film as Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman

Blockbuster: Kravitz is expected to have a blockbuster on her hands with this week’s release of The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as the eponymous caped crimefighter. She appears in the noir-influenced superhero film as Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman 

Perez is a former Oscar nominee for her supporting role in Fearless opposite Jeff Bridges, and she recently appeared in the well-received superhero film Birds Of Prey.

Chris Rock’s last big role was in the Saw sequel Spiral, and he’ll also likely add some audience-friendly comedy to the broadcast.

Youn, who is well known in South Korea, scored an upset win for Best Supporting Actress last year among a high-profile group of nominees including Olivia Colman, Glenn Close and Amanda Seyfried.

She stars in the film as the mother of a Korean immigrant who dreams of starting his own farm after being forced to work in low-paying agricultural jobs after moving to the US. 

Superhero transition: recently appeared in the well-received superhero film Birds Of Prey

Superhero transition: recently appeared in the well-received superhero film Birds Of Prey

Left-field choice: Chris Rock's last big role was in the horror film Spiral, a sequel to the Saw franchise

Left-field choice: Chris Rock’s last big role was in the horror film Spiral, a sequel to the Saw franchise

American breakout: Youn stars in Minari as the mother of a Korean immigrant who dreams of starting his own farm after being forced to work in low-paying agricultural jobs after moving to the US

American breakout: Youn stars in Minari as the mother of a Korean immigrant who dreams of starting his own farm after being forced to work in low-paying agricultural jobs after moving to the US

The Oscars may be hoping viewers will overlook controversial changes to the broadcast with the announcement of the presenters.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Tuesday that the broadcast will be removing eight categories from the live broadcast and instead presenting them beforehand.

The acceptance speeches will be recorded, but only the ‘most potent and emotional moments’ from the speeches will be including, raising a question as to whether speeches that don’t feature any particularly ’emotional moments’ will simply be eliminated from the broadcast all together. 

Those winners also likely won’t have the major stars who attend the Oscars seeing their wins, as ABC is having them arrive later in staggered fashion for its red carpet coverage.

The acceptance speech excerpts will be played on monitors in the theater.

The Academy is reportedly making the changes — which sparked a storm of angry posts on social media — at the behest of ABC. 

Cut out: The Academy Awards are removing eight categories from the telecast and only airing the 'most potent and emotional moments' from those speeches on the broadcast, according to The Hollywood Reporter; the Oscars seen in 2020

Cut out: The Academy Awards are removing eight categories from the telecast and only airing the ‘most potent and emotional moments’ from those speeches on the broadcast, according to The Hollywood Reporter; the Oscars seen in 2020

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