The biggest night in Hollywood is almost here. Ahead of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, which takes place Sunday 27 March 2022, a first-look at the show’s set design has been released.
The futuristic Dolby Theater stage was designed by David Korins, an Emmy-winning creative director known for designing Broadway stages such as Hamilton, Beetlejuice, and Dear Evan Hansen. This will be Korins second time designing for the Academy Awards, having previously taken on the role in 2019.
After last year’s Oscars ceremony was delayed and spread throughout multiple locations due to the Covid pandemic, this year’s event takes a more hopeful look into the future.
In an interview with Architectural Digest, Korins described the set design as a “portal that looks into the future”. The stage also extends into the auditorium, creating an immersive “community around the winner circle and around the performance space,” he explained.
However, social media users were confused by this year’s Oscars set design, and didn’t hold back their opinions about the optical illusion-themed stage, which some compared to a scene from The Hunger Games, while others thought the set came straight out of a Star Trek episode.
“New TARDIS console just dropped,” tweeted one person, referencing Doctor Who, while another said: “Are we hosting the Third Quarter Quell of the Hunger Games.”
Someone else asked: “What in the Star Trek is this?”
One person joked that the set looked like the secret laboratory from Despicable Me, and another compared it to the giant Spaceship Earth attraction at Epcot.
This year’s set design wasn’t the only announcement ahead of Sunday’s ceremony that had fans reeling in confusion. The Oscars also shared a list of the award show’s presenters, which includes US snowboarder Shaun White, US surfer Kelly Slater, US skateboarder Tony Hawk, and DJ Khaled, all of who aren’t typically associated with filmmaking.
The 2022 Oscars are scheduled to air live from the Dolby Theatre on Sunday 27 March at 8pm EDT on ABC.