Stone set for Oscar glory

US film director Oliver Stone has welcomed new criteria to be applied from 2024 for movies vying for the best-picture Oscar.

Organisers of the annual Academy Awards, the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has released new rules in a bid to foster greater inclusion and diversity among filmmakers.

From 2024 a film will not be considered for a best-picture award unless it meets AMPAS’s quotas for actors and production staff that must be filled by people of colour, women, people with disabilities or people from the LGBTQI community.

The new rules have been welcomed by Stone who has just started filming a sequel to his 1991 film JFK starring Kevin Costner.

“In JFK I wasn’t really making a film about President Kennedy,” Stone said. “I focussed on the investigation by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and his efforts to uncover the conspiracy among dark forces within the US government that led to Kennedy’s assassination.

“In the sequel, JFK II, I expand on the conspiracy theory and present facts that have come to light in the past 30-plus years since I shot JFK.

“Of course when I say ‘I shot JFK’ I don’t mean I shot JFK. I mean I shot JFK. Just to be clear.”

Stone said although his latest movie began production before the new Oscar best-picture rules were announced, he was confident it may be one of the few nominated films to meet the strict criteria for 2024.

“I really hope to finish shooting by then, “ he said. “And of course by shooting I don’t mean actual shooting, I mean shooting. Just to be clear.

“Luckily my new movie fits the new Oscar rules perfectly since it is based on a lot of research I have done personally about what happened in Dallas in November of ’63.

“Since the first film came out the internet has developed to a stage where I could research lots of theories about the assassination and develop a script around them.

“So in my screenplay President Kennedy is not so much a womaniser as a trans-woman and a Latina trans-woman at that. Jackie Kennedy is not only a trans-man but a trans-black man.

“So there’s a few boxes ticked on the Oscar entry form for starters. I don’t want to sound immodest but I think I can start making space on my mantel for a 2024 Best Picture Oscar.

“I reckon Salma Hayek and Idris Elba (main picture) can make space on their shelves too for best actor Oscars.

“Oh, and I reckon Jackie Chan is a certainty for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as a wheelchair-bound Lyndon Johnson,” Stone said.