Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Oscarcast executive producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer have been searching for the host or hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards. I’m told that the first person they approached just in the past couple weeks was Hugh Jackman who turned down the offer. Jackman successfully hosted two years ago, and nixed the overture last year because he didn’t want to host two years in a row. This time, Jackman is too busy preparing the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine which 20th Century Fox is mobilizing to begin shooting in late February or early March. Problem is that the Oscars will be held February 27th. (I’m told that Darren Aronofsky was locked in late Friday to direct Wolverine 2. Scripted by Christopher McQuarrie, the picture will shoot in New York and Japan.)

Last year’s Oscar’s host selection was the returning Steve Martin sharing duties with Alec Baldwin. The approach to Jackman is understandable, given his versatility as a song and dance man, his likability, and his international appeal. But where will Cohen and Mischer go from here? Will they end the parade of middle-aged white guys and set a female host, or a minority? And what about a younger host? We should know the answer soon: last year, the Academy announced its host on November 3rd.

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