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04/19/2007


Eddie Murphy Seen as Possible Casualty of Ratner Oscar Departure

Will Eddie Murphy stay on as Oscar host now that Brett Ratner has stepped down?

NY Mag's Vulture wonders:

Murphy_ratnerIn a recent Rolling Stone article, Murphy said, "I only want to do what I really want to do, otherwise I'm content to sit here and play my guitar all day. I always tell people now that I'm a semi-retired gentleman of leisure, and occasionally I'll go do some work to break the boredom up." It makes one wonder if seeing his Tower Heist director vanish will make the Oscars fall into the category of things Murphy doesn't "really want to do." One well-placed Academy member intimately familiar with the Oscar telecast explains to Vulture that the odds of Murphy remaining as host have now dropped to even money, because now he can step down with minimal PR damage: “It’s like when Mike Nichols asks Meryl Streep to do a movie, and then suddenly, Mike Nichols is not doing the movie anymore," says our source. "There’s no reflection on her if she then steps away from the project. But [Murphy] would have to do it fast, before a new producer is named. Otherwise, that’s just, well ... that’s just shitty.”

The AP makes the same note: "Brett Ratner's resignation Tuesday as producer of the 2012 Academy Awards raises questions about whether Eddie Murphy will remain as the show's host. Murphy, who worked with Ratner on the just-released comedy 'Tower Heist,' was considered an unconventional choice for Oscar host, hand-picked by Ratner to shake up the staid awards ceremony and draw in new - and younger- viewers."

Previously...
Brett Ratner Out as Oscar Producer Following Anti-Gay Slur [tr]


Eddie Murphy to Host Oscars

Eddie Murphy will host the 84th annual Academy Awards, producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today:

Eddie_murphy "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."

The ultra-early announcement appears to be geared toward boosting a cinematic return for Murphy, Deadline adds:

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.


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