10 Shocking Things That Could Happen at the 2022 Oscars

With the best-picture race possibly too close to call and the best-actress category a true toss-up, there’s more suspense than usual for the biggest awards of the night at the Oscars 2022. But you don’t have to wait to see if CODA triumphs over The Power of the Dog for something unexpected to happen. We’ve handicapped 10 truly shocking things that might happen—sure, they might not be likely to happen, but it’s live TV, so it’s best to be prepared for anything.

Johnny Depp wins the fan-favorite award

The potential for chaos in the #OscarsFanFavorite category, which is not technically an Oscar category but will be part of the broadcast in some still-unexplained way, is really limitless. The data suggests that Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead had a lead when voting closed early this month, but it’s still very possible that the little-seen Johnny Depp movie Minamata will be celebrated onstage thanks to the power of Depp’s very online fan base.

Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons AND Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz win his-and-hers Oscars

Not only do we have two real-life couples nominated for Oscars in the same year, but they’re also all in different categories, meaning they could technically take home two Oscars per household. Even if they don’t win, they’re still part of a rich Oscar legacy.

Olivia Colman upsets, again

It’s one thing to win best actress twice in a span of four years, which Frances McDormand, Jodie Foster, Glenda Jackson, Katharine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland, Luise Rainer, and Bette Davis have all done. It’s quite another to do it twice while upsetting a many-times-nominated actress who was widely expected to take home the win. Can she do to Jessica Chastain what she did to Glenn Close? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Or, Jessica Chastain could pull her makeup artist onstage with her to give the speech that might not make it to the air

Chastain, who could still very well win best actress, is one of the few stars to confirm she will be present for the untelevised hour ahead of the live ceremony, where her Eyes of Tammy Faye hair-and-makeup team will have their category announced. But given the controversy around the eight categories being presented before the broadcast, imagine if Chastain won best actress and used the time to bring the team up on live TV. If any acting-Oscar winner were to do that, it would be her.

DJ Khaled presents the “In Memoriam” tribute

Of all the unexpected people who will be presenters at Sunday’s show, as part of producer Will Packer’s effort to “connect with the casual moviegoer and casual movie fan,” DJ Khaled might be the most eye-popping. Sure, he might present best original song, a category far more connected to his career. But we’re thinking big here; who doesn’t want to see DJ Khaled solemnly introduce a tribute package to departed Hollywood luminaries?

Lady Gaga doesn’t win an Oscar…but her personal hairstylist does

We hardly need to remind you that the star of House of Gucci was overlooked by the Academy this year, failing to score a best-actress nomination for Ridley Scott’s campy biopic. At least she’s in august company: None of the other heavy hitters of House of Gucci were nominated either…with the exception of hair-and-makeup artists Göran Lundström, AnnaCarin Lock, and Frederic Aspiras. If that last name looks familiar, you might just be a Little Monster: Aspiras has styled Gaga’s hair for almost 15 years, including for her roles in A Star Is Born and American Horror Story. And while Gaga’s 2022 awards journey is over, his could reach a very different conclusion.

CODA breaks a nearly 100-year-old precedent

Sian Heder’s tender family comedy, which might just ride a late wave of guild love all the way to a best-picture win, would be a groundbreaking victor for a few reasons. But Oscar statisticians are probably most interested in this one: If CODA does get the big prize, it will be the first movie to win that category with three or fewer total Oscar nominations since Grand Hotel, the best picture of 1932 (which famously won best picture without being nominated in a single other category). Somewhere the ghost of Greta Garbo is…well, not exactly smiling, but gazing in a not-unfriendly manner.

Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley make history

Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix both won Oscars for playing the Joker. Ariana DeBose, who inherited the role of Anita in West Side Story from Oscar winner Rita Moreno, is favored to manage a similar feat. But no two actors have ever won Oscars for playing the same character in the same film, as nominees Colman and Buckley do in The Lost Daughter. They aren’t, however, the only actors ever nominated for playing such roles; Gloria Stuart and Kate Winslet both got nods for playing Rose in Titanic, while Winslet and Judi Dench were also both nominated for playing the title role in 2001’s Iris. If they win, though, Colman and Buckley will achieve a first—and they may also be the only Oscar-winning pair who can peel an orange like a snake.

Amy Schumer gets Volodymyr Zelenskyy to show up after all

True story: The first-time Oscar cohost wanted to figure out a way to get the Ukrainian president, a former actor, to make a virtual appearance at the Oscars. “I wanted to find a way to have Zelenskyy satellite in or make a tape or something, just because there are so many eyes on the Oscars,” she explained to Drew Barrymore. Schumer implied to Barrymore that the idea was scrapped—“I am not afraid to go there, but it’s not me producing the Oscars”—but…who knows! Honestly, weirder things have happened at the Oscars.

Diane Warren could finally break her losing streak

”Maybe This Time” isn’t a song by Diane Warren, though it might as well be. The decorated hitmaker is one of the modern age’s foremost Oscar bridesmaids, with an astounding 13 nominations and not a single win. The competition this year is stiff; she’s up against almost-EGOT Lin-Manuel Miranda, the dynamic duo of Billie Eilish and Finneas, Grammy winner Van Morrison, and Beyoncé. But if the Academy does finally give Warren her due, she’ll be singing a different tune.

More Great Oscars Content From Vanity Fair

— Oscars 2022 Live Updates: Follow Every Twist and Turn of the Race
— The Full List of 2022 Oscar Nominees Led by The Power of the Dog
— The Vanity Fair Oscar Party Returns: Watch the Livestream on March 27
— Fill Out Your Oscars 2022 Ballot
— Can TikTok Help Save the Oscars?
— Who Will Win Best Picture?
— The Life of the Awards-Season Parties
— What Inspired Drive My Car, Belfast, King Richard, Cruella, and More
— Who’s Ahead as Oscar Voting Begins?
— Oscars Producer Will Packer Wants It All
— Sign up for the “HWD Daily” newsletter for must-read industry and awards coverage—plus a special weekly edition of “Awards Insider.”

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