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EXCLUSIVE! Brian Grazer Telling Hollywood He Will Produce Oscars & Looking For Host

Brian Grazer Will Step In To Produce 84th Academy Awards
Brett Ratner Out As Oscar Producer

WEDNESDAY 3:50 PM, 3RD UPDATE: The Academy Of Motion Pictures & Arts Sciences just made it official.

3:30 PM, 2ND UPDATE: Imagine Entertainment is confirming that Brian Grazer will produce the 84th Academy Awards with Don Mischer. Still no official AMPAS announcement, though. And there’s more news on this fast-breaking story: As much as the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hoped that Eddie Murphy would reconsider his exit as host, insiders tell me that Brian Grazer has moved on this afternoon. ”We are not going back to him. No way,” I’m told.

2 PM, UPDATE from Nikki Finke: I have just learned that Brian Grazer was offered and has accepted to produce the 84th Academy Awards. Nothing has been announced yet, but Grazer is telling Hollywood that he’s committed to the gig. The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences owes Brian big-time for stepping into the breach left when Brett Ratner exited because of the scandal which the director had created around himself. Immediately, Grazer began calling around town looking for the Oscar host (see HAMMOND: Eddie’s Exit Throws Oscars Into Further Chaos; So Who Should Host Now?) and speed-dialed the top agencies checking availabilities for big talent. But the Academy still wants Eddie Murphy to host, and Grazer is tasked with first trying to convince the actor to do it. Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment produced Tower Heist, which Ratner directed and co-stars Murphy. If anyone can get Eddie back in, it’s Brian. For Grazer to take on the Oscars demonstrates a dedication to the movie community that I hope the Academy won’t soon forget. Grazer’s name frequently comes up for the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award, the most coveted Oscar honor for anyone in Hollywood, and almost received it for the 76th annual Oscars. So maybe sooner rather than later it should be Grazer’s turn for the Thalberg. I say give it to him next year.

11 AM, Mike Fleming reports: Right now, the Academy Awards are still in disarray, but a name that is making the rounds is Brian Grazer as a potential replacement for Brett Ratner. This is unconfirmed and might have made more sense when Eddie Murphy was still the host. Read More »

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TOLDJA! Eddie Murphy To Host Oscars

UPDATE: Eddie Murphy Agrees To Host Oscars; Announcement Shortly
EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Murphy In Talks To Host 84th Oscars

Beverly Hills, CA — Oscar® nominee Eddie Murphy, whose performing career spans movies, television and the stage, will host this year’s Academy Awards show on Sunday, February 26, 2012, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be Murphy’s first hosting stint on the Oscars®.

“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances – especially on stage – I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show Don and I want to produce in February.”

Commented Mischer, “Eddie is a truly ground-breaking performer, whose amazingly diverse array of roles has won him a devoted audience of all ages. His quick wit and charisma will serve him very well as Oscar host.”

“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”

Read More »

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Eddie Murphy Agrees To Host Oscars; Producers Tell Film Academy It’s Official

By | Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 10:47am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Murphy In Talks To Host 84th Oscars

UPDATE: The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences just made it official.

EXCLUSIVE: I’ve just learned that Eddie Murphy has officially agreed to host the 84th Academy Awards. Today, Oscar producer Brett Ratner is formally telling the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences that he’s chosen Murphy to emcee the Oscars and an announcement will be made. I broke the news over Labor Day weekend that Ratner was in talks with Murphy and was going to offer AMPAS President Tom Sherak only the comedian’s name to host. I was told that a lot of big names had approached the other 84th Academy Awards producer Don Mischer saying they are interested in hosting, and Don was fielding those calls. Brett’s talks with Murphy had been along the lines of, “If the Academy asked you to host, would you accept?” I learned that Eddie has now formally said yes. This is coming months earlier than normal because usually the Oscars host isn’t chosen or announced until January. But everyone is eager to get out the news now. I do know that Murphy’s Hollywood agency WME thinks it’d be a real coup for Murphy’s dormant career, which is about to get a kick-start. That’s because the veteran comedian is starring in the Brett Ratner-directed and Imagine/Universal-produced Tower Heist action laugher with Ben Stiller that opens on November 4th and is receiving great buzz. So Murphy and Ratner already have a close relationship, and this would be a way for Brett to put his personal stamp on 2012′s broadcast. Plus Murphy is starring in the DreamWorks dramedy film A Thousand Words scheduled for release on January 12th.

Eddie, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2006′s Dreamgirls but lost, is said to worship the Oscars. “Nobody knows movies better or is a bigger cinephile than Eddie. Not Brett. Not even Quentin Tarantino. Eddie can quote scenes from every single movie word for word,” an insider tells me. “He can bring all that experience to hosting. Plus he has Saturday Night Live experience before a live crowd. And worldwide the biggest crossover comedians are Will Smith and Eddie Murphy.” That’s important because a huge part of the Academy Awards telecast audience is global. And with two movies opening before the Oscars, Murphy could benefit from the publicity bonanza especially overseas where international releases usually follow U.S. openings by several months. Besides, the Academy has been after more diversity which is why this October it’s honoring James Earl Jones and Oprah Winfrey (even though she’s much more of a TV personality than a movie star or filmmaker).

The comedy and urban entertainment website Humor Mill posted first an exclusive (sourced from several close friends of Eddie’s) that Murphy was a done deal. But I’ve confirmed it wasn’t until today. A decision like this to host the Academy Awards is made by committee with a star and his/her reps and pals weighing all the pro and con options. Which is why the Academy has such a tough time finding new hosts every year because it can be such a career-altering decision. Meanwhile, I hear that veteran Billy Crystal, who recently expressed interest in hosting again, will almost certainly be incorporated into the show in some marquee way.

This is now the 4th straight year that Deadline has first reported the host of the Academy Awards Read More »

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Eddie Murphy In Talks To Host 84th Oscars

By | Saturday September 3, 2011 @ 7:17pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: This Tuesday, a confab is scheduled for Oscar producer Brett Ratner to tell the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences whom he wants to host the Oscars. I’ve learned that Ratner will offer one name to Academy President Tom Sherak: Eddie Murphy. This is by no means a done deal yet, but this is a first step – though a lot more steps have to happen before this becomes a reality. I’m told that a lot of big names have approached the other 84th Academy Awards producer Don Mischer saying they are interested in hosting, and Don is fielding those calls. But insiders tell me that Ratner since getting the Academy Awards producing gig has only been talking to one person: Eddie. It’s been along the lines of, “If the Academy asked you to host, would you accept?” I learned that Eddie is “showing interest”. I do know that Murphy’s Hollywood agency WME thinks it’d be a real coup for Murphy’s dormant career which is about to get a kick-start. That’s because the veteran comedian is starring in the Brett Ratner-directed and Imagine/Universal-produced Tower Heist action laugher with Ben Stiller that opens on November 4th and is receiving great buzz. So Murphy and Ratner already have a close relationship, and this would be a way for Brett to put his personal stamp on 2012′s broadcast. Plus Murphy is starring in the DreamWorks dramedy film A Thousand Words scheduled for release on January 12th.

Eddie, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2006′s Dreamgirls but lost, is said to worship the Oscars. “Nobody knows movies better or is a bigger cinephile than Eddie. Not Brett. Not even Quentin Tarantino. Eddie can quote scenes from every single movie word for word,” an insider tells me. “He can bring all that experience to hosting. Plus he has Saturday Night Live experience before a live crowd. And worldwide the biggest crossover comedians are Will Smith and Eddie Murphy.” That’s important because a huge part of the Academy Awards telecast audience is global. Read More »

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TOLDJA! James Franco & Anne Hathaway To Host 83rd Annual Academy Awards



 

UPDATE: The Academy just made it official. Press release below. 

Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced just now that “James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27. We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that.” 

Analyzes Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond: “Part of the reason the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences feels comfortable going with these two is that both James Franco and Anne Hathaway have very successfully hosted Saturday Night Live. And they looked at that and felt these young actors could work in front of a live audience which is why in the past the Academy has gone to so many stand-up comedians. And, of course, the other factor is that they really ’young up’ the Oscars this year. It’s an interesting choice and certainly unexpected and bold.”  

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS 6:45 AM: I’ve just learned that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has asked James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host the 83rd annual Academy Awards on February 27th at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater, and it “looks like” both young stars have accepted the offer. There is always the chance that one or both of them might … Read More »

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Hugh Jackman Asked To Host Oscars Again

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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