Chris Pine To Announce Oscar Nominees With 'Star Wars' Director J.J. Abrams And Alfonso Cuarón

Chris Pine will be part of a big change to the Academy Award nominees announcement this year. He will be one of three industry stars to reveal the Oscar contenders in all 24 categories. In years past, only the celebrity categories were announced on-air. Behind the scenes categories were relegated to a press release issued to media.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who will present the front-of-camera categories such as Best Actor and Best Actress along with Pine, said the shift is to acknowledge all aspects of movie-making.

"The Academy is all about celebrating filmmaking. That includes all aspects and areas and departments, and all the talented people it takes to make a motion picture."
Chris Pine and Isaacs will present the star-studded categories after Pine's Star Trek director J.J. Abrams and Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón announce who is up in categories such as Visual Effects and Sound Mixing. The announcements are set for 5:30 am and 5:38 am, respectively, on January 15.

Telecast co-producer Neil Meron said tapping Abrams and Cuarón, both well known directors and neither an actor, for the lesser-known categories was no accident.

"[The motivation was] to have two world class directors expands the spotlight into a total look at the filmmaking process. It was about expanding that spotlight and creating interest in the categories that people might not think are as important as the others."
Meron told Variety they did not set out to tap presenters who are associated with sci-fi. In denying this, Meron also pointed out that Pine's work is not restricted to sci-fi, as he is currently starring in Into the Woods.
"When we looked for people to join Cheryl on that stage, we looked for people that had wide reach around the world. And these three gentlemen made the most sense to us. Not really putting the sci-fi bent into any sort of focus for us -- it just turned out that way. And those films speak to big audiences, and this really, really shines a light on every single category by having them... Besides, Chris Pine is no longer a sci-fi person, he's a musical comedy person!"
J.J. Abrams directed Pine in Star Trek before Abrams made the jump to the new Star Wars movie. As for Pine's turn in Into the Woods, his co-star Anna Kendrick recently revealed on Watch What Happens Live what it was like to kiss him.
"[Tastes like] cinnamon in a meadow."
There is a third Star Trek reboot film, starring Chris Pine, currently in development.

[Chris Pine image Jon Furniss Photography/Invision/AP via People]