If this engraved nameplate is any indication, this year's Oscar winner for Best Actor will be Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Yes, Twitter is currently abuzz with the release of a CNN screencap that reveals the nameplate, that supposedly reveals a great big Oscar spoiler a full 20 days before the actual ceremony.
— Joseph Robinow (@Joerobinow) February 10, 2014
CNN supposedly leaked the best actor winner and it was Leonardo DiCaprio hell yeah!— Amanda Casey (@AmandaCasey1998) February 10, 2014
The engraved nameplate reads:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
"THE WOLF OF WALL STREET"
If true, this would be a gaffe of, um, titanic proportions for the ultra-secretive Academy. And it would give everyone a freebie on their Oscar pools.
But no, this is not a supreme spoiler. In fact, final voting for the Oscars hasn't even started yet. Balloting commences on Friday and closes on Feb. 25. So while Leo might indeed be a frontrunner (don't tell Chiwetel Ejiofor), it doesn't mean he's already locked up the prize.
So how to explain the nameplate? As of 2010, the Academy creates engraved nameplates for every Oscar nominee, with the winners being given their nameplates at the Governor's Ball on Oscar night.
Here's how a 2010 Oscar press release explains it: "In preparation for the night, the Academy will create 197 nameplates, one for each 2009 nominee in every category. The engraving will include the nominee’s name, category, film title and year. After the winners have been announced, the unused nameplates will be recycled."
So... will Leo's nameplate be "used" or "recycled"? We won't know for real until the Oscars reveal all on March 2.