A report has emerged that the 93rd annual Academy Awards scheduled for February next year might be delayed because of coronavirus pandemic.

According to Variety, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has started considering postponing the 2021 Oscars which is more than eight months away. Sources from the Film Academy, who spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity, revealed that definitive plans about the big night are far from being concrete at this juncture.

The Academy Awards, scheduled for telecast on February 28 on ABC, will "likely be postponed," as revealed by one of the sources familiar with the matter.

The source added that the details about potential new dates for the event have not been fully discussed or formally proposed yet. Meanwhile, another source claimed that the date remains unchanged at ABC as of now.

It comes after the Academy laid out new rules for eligibility for the award in wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has caused the closure of theatres as well. The organisation had announced a temporary change in its rules last month which meant that the Oscar will now consider films that did not play in theatres. According to existing rules, a film needs to have a seven-day theatrical run in a commercial theatre in Los Angeles County to qualify for the Oscars.

But according to the new rules that are only being implemented on a temporary basis, films will be eligible for Oscar gold after being released digitally, given that it must have already had a planned theatrical release. The film must also be made available on the Academy Screening Room member-only streaming site within 60 days of its streaming.

92nd annual Academy Awards
The Oscars are the peak of the Hollywood awards season. Photo: AFP / Mark RALSTON

At the time, Academy president David Rubin had spoken to Variety about the chances of a delay in the 2021 Oscar telecast due to the COVID-19 crisis. Rubin had said: "It's impossible to know what the landscape will be. We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take."