Sunday, September 4, 2011

Eddie Murphy To Host The 2012 Oscars?

Several reports currently read Academy Awards Producer, Brett Ratner, will propose to Academy president Tom Sherak early on this week that Eddie Murphy host the upcoming Academy Award show. Of course Sherak and the Academy would then have to approve the choice...but at that point we're usually talking formalities.

Ratner was announced the show's producer just over a month ago (Aug. 4th) and is set to actually co-produce with Don Mischer.

"That's the most important thing I can accomplish," he said. "If people can sit in that theater and laugh, and people can watch at home around the world and laugh, then I've accomplished what I want to do."

They're going to need this comeback given the lackluster reception for the hosting job done by actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway in February. Funny is always better in situations like these...bottom line they could have done better. Eddie Murphy is the right actor with stand-up comedy experience. As an Academy Award Show host, the pressure for the show to be a hit is on you. You instantly become the public figure for a show you had little to no input in designing. Essentially, behind closed doors, the producers will catch all heat, but it's what the public thinks that matters. In 2009, Hugh Jackman received raves when he hosted. But not string enough for repeat success. Ideally, producers would like the Will Smiths or George Clooneys of the biz to bite on the position. Good luck with that! As the host of that have to possess the ability to work a room. The audience, both present and at home must feel comfortable with you and most importantly forget they have a watch or access to a clock.

Billy Crystal. Dynamite host. I've even read he's the "gold standard" of Oscar hosts. However, he is notorious for long sets and eats up more clock than Eric Snow in the 2001 NBA Finals, you can probably imagine this is a problem for a show that is always criticized for excessive length.

Mr. Murphy seems to be the perfect choice, yes, but his Academy Award history is not the most lustrous. Murphy's first nomination came for "Dreamgirls" in 2006, and he was considered a favorite to win for a majority of that awards' season. Alan Arkin, last minute scored an upset victory for "Little Miss Sunshine." It's rumored Murphy's chances had been hurt by the release of "Norbit" during the voting period. Wasn't his best work.

Immediately following Arkin's victory, which occurred early in the show, Murphy left the Kodak Theater, with some reports claiming that he'd made his displeasure clear on his way out the door. Two years later, Murphy returned to the Oscars to present the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Jerry Lewis. So, we believe it is safe to assume by then it was all good?

Ratner's action comedy "Tower Heist," in which Murphy co-stars with frequent Oscar-show participant Ben Stiller, opens on November 4 and has picked up strong advance word-of-mouth.

Murphy also has the long-delayed DreamWorks film "A Thousand Words" opening in January.

Time will tell how this Murphy/Oscar story plays out...until then...