Update: It was predictable but nevertheless not a bad choice. AMPAS has chosen eight-time Oscar host Billy Crystal to replace Eddie Murphy for the upcoming telecast. Crystal announced the news via Twitter yesterday afternoon and the response was generally quite positive.
Original: In the wake of producer Brett Ratner and host Eddie Murphy’s departure, it has been a busy 24 hours for those involved in the upcoming Oscars telecast.
Yesterday Academy President Tom Sherak announced that film producer Brian Grazer will join Don Mischer as a producer on the ceremony, the first time he’s produced the telecast. Grazer brings with him a lot of experience on the filmmaking side and certainly has a lot of respect amongst the industry and its more conservative elements turned off by Ratner’s recent remarks.
After his selection the question quickly became who will take over as host. A fan campaign has started for the Muppets to host and has already scored 27,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook as of the time of this article’s publication. Even with support though this idea is unlikely due to the sheer technical issues involved and the Academy’s own likelihood to play it safe after last year’s debacle with James Franco and Anne Hathaway.
Ricky Gervais has been joking that he’ll host both the Golden Globes and the Oscars for a discounted price. While his hosting of the Oscars is unlikely, there’s building momentum to get him back for a third stint at the Globes (NBC wants him back, the HFPA however is apparently reticent) he though he hasn’t signed for or been officially offered anything.
With Grazer onboard there’s suggestion he’ll bring a frequent actor collaborator with him like Tom Hanks, but the general idea sounds like they’ll go with an established comedian. One wonders if the still unsurpassed modern Oscars host Billy Crystal, who made a memorable appearance last year, is likely to be offered the opportunity.