The Academy Awards will have a theme when the prizes are handed out March 2 on ABC.

The show will honor heroes: real-life ("Gandhi," "Silkwood"), literary ("To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Grapes of Wrath"), action heroes ("Gladiator"), superheroes ("Superman," "The Dark Knight") and animated heroes ("The Incredibles," "Shrek"). An ABC release offered those titles, but there will be many more.

The Oscar nominations will be announced Thursday morning by "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

This year's ceremony will be the 86th edition of the world's most famous entertainment prize.

The show-preview announcement by Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron came two days after Tina Fey and Amy Poehler again dazzled by hosting the Golden Globes on NBC.

Ellen DeGeneres will return as the Oscar host. "Of course, there will be no shortage of comedy with Ellen DeGeneres as our host," the producers said. "There may also be a few musical surprises along the way."

DeGeneres will be a heroine if she makes the Oscar telecast entertaining.