Film Academy Invites 115 New Members
LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2007 -- Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson have been asked to join Hollywood's most exclusive club.
They were among 115 actors, filmmakers, studio executives and others invited into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars.
Others on the invitation list released by the academy Monday include actors Daniel Craig, Aaron Eckhart, Christopher Plummer, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Danny Huston.
Along with Hudson, the former "American Idol" finalist who won the supporting-actress Oscar for last year's "Dreamgirls," Oscar winners from 2006 invited to join the academy include screenwriters Michael Arndt ("Little Miss Sunshine") and William Monahan ("The Departed"); makeup artists David Marti and Montse Ribe ("Pan's Labyrinth"); and composer Gustavo Santaolalla ("Babel").
Besides Murphy, nominated as supporting actor for "Dreamgirls," nominees from last year asked to become academy members include actors Adriana Barraza ("Babel"), Ryan Gosling ("Half Nelson") and Jackie Earle Haley ("Little Children"); directors Paul Greengrass ("United 93") and James Longley (the documentary "Iraq in Fragments"); screenwriters Guillermo Arriaga ("Babel"); Patrick Marber ("Notes on a Scandal") and Peter Morgan ("The Queen"); and costume designer Consolata Boyle ("The Queen").
Academy rules would have allowed nearly 150 new members this year, but the group's selecting committees endorsed fewer candidates than the maximum. The academy adopted policies four years ago to slow its growth, with the number of members eligible to vote on the Oscars holding steady at a bit below 6,000 since then.
"The numbers are stabilizing nicely," said Bruce Davis, the academy's executive director.
Among other notables invited into the academy were J.J. Abrams, creator of "Lost" and director of "Mission: Impossible III"; composer Carter Burwell, a frequent collaborator of the Coen brothers; directors Antoine Fuqua, Monte Hellman and D.J. Caruso; and producer Jonathan Glickman, son of Dan Glickman, who heads the Motion Picture Association of America.
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