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‘They were robbed’: People are sharing their favorite ensemble casts online after Academy Awards announces new ‘Best Casting’ category

There hasn't been a new category added since 2001 when Shrek won the first award for Best Animated Feature.


Allie Hayes

Pop Culture

Posted on Feb 9, 2024   Updated on Feb 9, 2024, 1:38 pm CST

Great casting is an art form, and casting directors don’t get nearly enough credit—yeah, I said it.

While great direction, writing, cinematography, and acting are definitely the building blocks that make a great film—and are already celebrated at various award shows for the skill they take—the ability to see actors and know immediately if they’ll work well together, have chemistry, and be able to embody a character separately and in a group is a genuine ability.

And it appears the Academy finally agrees, as they announced yesterday that—beginning with the 2026 award season—they will add a “Best Casting” category to their rotation of prestigious awards!

This is exciting for many reasons, one being that this will be the first new category the show has added in over 20 years, with the last new category being Best Animated Feature in 2001—the first of which went to iconic meme masterpiece Shrek, of course.

However, this isn’t the Academy’s first attempt in the past couple of decades to add to their roster of categories. As noted in a recent piece by The New York Times, the Academy wanted to add a category to specifically highlight “popular” films—tentatively titled “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film”—to be launched in 2019, but this concept was canceled after an intense backlash (because, frankly, what does that even mean?!).

However, the recent announcement of the Best Casting category addition had the opposite result, with movie-lovers very excited to see Casting Directors finally getting the credit they deserve.

They were so excited, in fact, that they took to X to retweet the announcement with some A+ examples of casts that 100% should’ve (and would’ve!) won the award had this category been around when they were originally released.

Here are just a few of the absolute best ensemble casts shared:

It will be exciting to see what 2025 film will be the first to win the honor when the award is launched in 2026, but until then…can we get a retroactive one (or heck, even an honorary one) given to the Casting Directors for The Lord of the Rings trilogy? Because they deserve a Pulitzer-level prize for that magic. Who would you add to the list?

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*First Published: Feb 9, 2024, 1:36 pm CST