Neil Meron and Craig Zaden, the team behind the big screen musicals Chicago and Hairpray, have been selected as producers of the 2013 Academy Awards.
‘We are very excited to collaborate with Hawk and everyone at the Academy to produce this year’s Oscars,’ Zadan and Meron said in a joint statement Thursday (23 August). ‘We hope to utilize our experience in producing features, TV and theater to bring something fresh and special to this incredible awards show.’
The openly gay pair currently produce NBC’s Smash as well as the Broadway hit How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Their other film credits include the recent remake of Footloose and The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.
‘When we filmed The Bucket List, we made our own personal bucket list, and producing the Oscars was #1,’ they said in their statement. ‘It’s truly a great honor.’
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Herndon Graddick praised the selection.
‘For decades, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have been fearless in bringing powerful and entertaining stories to screens, and will undoubtedly bring that same level of passion and skill for storytelling to the Oscars,’ he said.
This will be the longtime professional duo’s first involvement with the Oscars which will air live on February 24, 2013.