The move to name two producers whose talents complement each other comes hot on the heels of the unmitigated success of last year's telecast, which tossed the tradition of having a single producer and instead paired director Bill Condon with film/executive Laurence Mark.
As the Envelope notes, last year's pairing worked so well because it combined Condon's strength for showmanship with a Mark's experience and studio connections -- and, of course, because they picked an up-to-the-challenge host in Hugh Jackman. In naming Shankman and Mechanic co-producer's of this year's telecast, the Academy has, for all intents and purposes, recreated that dynamic.
Shankman got his start as a choreographer before moving on to helm such big-screen successes as 2005's 'The Pacifier' and 2007's 'Hairspray.' He's also currently a judge on the Fox reality show 'So You Think You Can Dance,' and just signed on to direct a big-screen adaptation of the smash Broadway musical 'Rock of Ages.'
Mechanic, who is the former CEO and chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, now runs Pandeomium Films, which produced 2005's 'Dark Water' and most recently the critically acclaimed 2009 animated film 'Coraline.'
Sounds like a match made in Oscars telecast heaven. Now all they need is a host who can hang. For your consideration, may we suggest Neal Patrick Harris? That would be legend -- wait for it -- dary.
The 82nd Annual Oscars airs Sun., March 7 on ABC.