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When Brett Ratner was recently announced as a producer for the upcoming Oscar ceremony, it left an awful taste in the mouths of many cinephiles the world over. After last year’s fiasco, it seemed like everything was making a turn for the worse, but there’s a reason to be hopeful.
Eddie Murphy has been confirmed as the host for the next ceremony. It’s not a completely shocking decision, as the actor/comedian has a leading role in Ratner’s upcoming action/comedy Tower Heist. Ratner lobbied heavily for the Academy to let Murphy have the gig, and why wouldn’t they?
He’s a proven talent on the stage, has earned his stripes in the industry, and has no trouble making people laugh… well, in his standup at least. Some have griped about Murphy’s recent filmography, most notably Norbit.
The harshly reviewed crude comedy arguably cost him the Supporting Actor Oscar he should have won for Dreamgirls in 2006; Alan Arkin’s comedic turn in Little Miss Sunshine won instead. In any case, he’s got quite a bit of time to prepare – more than last year’s co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway – and he’s a natural comedian.
What are your thoughts on Murphy hosting? Is it a dream come true, or will he end up bombing more than The Adventures of Pluto Nash?
For more details, check out the press release below.
“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.’
Murphy began his career at the age of 15 as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ becoming the show’s youngest cast member to that point, and bringing to life many of the show’s most memorable characters. His 1983 album ‘Eddie Murphy: Comedian’ won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording. It included portions of his groundbreaking HBO special ‘Eddie Murphy Delirious.’ In 1987, ‘Eddie Murphy Raw’ was theatrically released and went on to gross over $50 million. Murphy made his feature film debut in 1982 with the classic ‘48 Hrs.’ and would go on to star in such box-office hits as ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ and the [sic] ‘The Nutty Professor’ and ‘Shrek’ franchises. All told, movies in which he has performed have earned in excess of $7 billion worldwide during their theatrical releases.
Murphy earned an Oscar nomination in 2006 for his supporting role in ‘Dreamgirls.’
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.”