Due to the unprecedented challenges that face the motion picture and television community during this global crisis, the organization made necessary changes to present this year’s awards show. The Academy extended the nomination period 16 months this year covering a wider selection of submissions between July 15, 2019 through November 15, 2020 and the group extended the eligibility rules to include streaming and VOD in addition to the theatrical release of motion pictures.
This year’s show honoring the best and most significant achievements in genre film, television and theater will be held later this year with details to be announced. The recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards including The Dan Curtis Legacy Award, previously awarded to such luminaries as Vince Gilligan, Bryan Fuller and Sarah Schechter will be announced shortly. The Saturn Awards ceremony will again be produced by the organization and will be honoring the best and most significant achievements in genre film, television and theatre. The Academy was founded in 1972 by Doctor Donald A. Reed and is one year shy of celebrating its 50th Anniversary.
Lucasfilm/Disney’s Star Wars franchise dominated the Saturn nominations with Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker earning 12 noms in features, and The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars in TV/Streaming. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet boasted an impressive 9 nom, Doctor Sleep scared up 8, Knives Out, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, 7 apiece, and Birds of Prey and Disney’s live action Mulan, 6. Directors Gina Prince-Bythewood of Netflix’s The Old Guard and Niki Caro of Disney’s Mulan lead the diverse and talented pack of film nominees, which included such talent as Delroy Lindo (Da Five Bloods), John David Washington (Tenet), Yifei Liui and Donnie Yen (Mulan), Zazie Beetz (Joker),
Jurnee Smollet and Ella Jay Basco (Birds of Prey), Kyliegh Curran (Doctor Sleep) as well as talented screenwriters, editors, costumers and Special FX artists.
Television perennials Better Call Saul (AMC), Outlander (Starz) and The Walking Dead (AMC) lead the way with 5 nominations apiece, followed closely by such newcomers as Evil, Stargirl, What We Do in the Shadows, The Witcher, The Boys, Watchmen and Lovecraft Country. Nominations featured a diverse pool of talent, including Mike Colter (Evil), Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country), Regina King (Watchmen), Cynthia Erivo (The Outsider), and Billy Porter (The Twilight Zone) just to name a few.
Warners Bros. Pictures lead all studios with 34 nominations, followed by Walt Disney Studios with 27, and with 12: Lucasfilm Ltd. and Netflix, bolstered by Vince Gilligan’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story, David Fincher’s Mank, Spike Lee’s Da Five Bloods and Gina Prince-Bythewood/Charlize Theron’s The Old Guard and an additional 13 for streaming television. The CW lead with 14 nominations, with virtually all networks and streaming services such as Apple TV, Amazon and CBS All Access represented. Home Entertainment also made a big splash with Kino Lorber, leading the way with 8 nominations.
“We could not be more excited to continue the ongoing mission of our late founder Dr. Donald A. Reed in shining a light on the best and most important genre productions and filmmakers,” said Robert Holguin, president of the Academy and Executive Producer of the Saturn Awards. “In a year such as this, looking towards the future is more important than ever and we are proud to continue to celebrate this genre we love so much as we approach our 50 year anniversary.”
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films is a non-profit organization, founded in 1972 by film historian Doctor Donald A. Reed, and is supported by several hundred genre enthusiasts and professionals (such as JJ Abrams, Jordan Peele, Dean Devlin, Gale Anne Hurd, Guillermo Del Toro, Ryan Coogler and Kevin Fiege) who have participated in the ongoing efforts of the Academy to promote genre film production and television programming for almost 50 years. The organization is currently headed by President Robert Holguin and leadership including Bradley Marcus, Kevin Marcus, Michael Laster and Mark Altman.