Atticus Finch movie hero-To Kill a MockingbirdThe 86th Academy Awards will be a celebration of movie heroes, the producers announced this week. The theme for the March 2 live broadcast, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will honor big-screen real-life heroes, like “Gandhi” and “Erin Brockovich,” as well as super heroes and animated heroes, both past and present.

“We wanted to unify the show with an entertaining and emotional theme,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “People around the world go to the movies to be inspired by the characters they see on the screen.”

To coincide with the Oscar night theme, the Academy will present an ode to movie heroes in the lobby of its Beverly Hills headquarters. The exhibition, on display beginning tomorrow through March 5, will feature still photographs and posters from 70 titles spanning nine decades, as well as video montages with excerpts from classic and contemporary films.

The exhibit will include films centered on real-life role models, like “Gandhi” and “Silkwood”, super heroes, like “Superman” and “The Dark Knight”, animated heroes, like “Shrek” and “The Incredibles”, and action heroes like “Seven Samurai” and “Gladiator”.

Also included will be literary heroes, like Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The character Finch (pictured above) as portrayed by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film adaptation, was voted by the American Film Institute to be the greatest hero in American film.

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