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This Year's Academy Awards Will Honor Movie Heroes

ABC/BOB D'AMICO(NEW YORK) -- This year's Academy Awards will celebrate movie heroes of the past and present. 

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced Tuesday that the March 2 ceremony will honor big-screen real-life heroes, super heroes, popular heroes and animated heroes.

"We wanted to unify the show with an entertaining and emotional theme," the producers said in a joint statement.  "People around the world go to the movies to be inspired by the characters they see on the screen.  By celebrating the gamut of heroes who have enriched our movie-going experience, we hope to create an evening of fun and joy.  And that includes the filmmakers and actors who take risks and stimulate us with provocative subjects and daring characters.  They are all heroes in the cinematic landscape."

To coincide with the theme of the ceremony, the Academy will present an exhibition at its Beverly Hills, Calif., headquarters, titled “The Oscars Celebrates Movie Heroes.”  The exhibition, which runs from Jan. 17 through March 5, will feature photographs and posters of films such as Gandhi, Superman, The Dark Knight, Shrek, Gladiator and To Kill a Mockingbird, among others.

Thor and Avengers star Chris Hemsworth will join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Thursday to reveal the Oscar nominees at a Beverly Hills news conference, which is scheduled to begin at 5:35 a.m. Pacific time.

The 86th Academy Awards, with Ellen DeGeneres as host, will air live on ABC on March 2.

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