Over the weekend Deadline broke the news that Eddie Murphy was producer Brett Ratner’s first choice to host the 84th Academy Awards and today news has come in that Eddie Murphy has officially agreed. The Academy is expected to release a statement later today with the official announcement, but for now we can assume that the news is true.
After last year’s hosting disaster of James Franco and Anne Hathaway there was much talk that the Academy needs to return to its roots and choose an established older comedian to host the ceremony. Billy Crystal was practically begging to take the job back during his brief appearance at the 83rd Academy Awards and based on the reaction to Franco and Hathaway he would be well-received. Oscar producer Brett Ratner must have heard the chatter and chosen an older comedian that he was more comfortable working with – Eddie Murphy. Murphy and Ratner recently collaborated on the upcoming comedy Tower Heist that is set to hit theatres this November, in the height of Awards season. Murphy will also be appearing in the film A Thousand Words which is set to be released in January.
According to Deadline: “Eddie 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.” That report contradicts his appearance at the 2006 Oscars when he stormed out near the beginning of the ceremony after losing the Best Supporting Actor award. The Deadline story also says that Billy Crystal will be incorporated into the telecast in an important way.
I have already expressed my thoughts on the Eddie Murphy hosting gig in this Pro and Con post from yesterday. What do you think are the pros or cons of Murphy hosting the Oscars?