After last year’s two-host, non-comedian experiment produced negative results, the Academy Awards appears to be trying a tried-but-proven formula with a big name comedian as host. And this time it looks like the host will be Hollywood superstar Eddie Murphy.
Brett Ratner, who is producing the 84th annual Academy Awards, is intent on having Murphy host the show, according to reports. An important reason that Murphy is expected to be asked to host is that he has two big films coming out in the next few months and could use the extra publicity. One of the films Murphy will be starring in, Tower Heist, is also produced by Ratner.
A source who spoke to Deadline said Murphy could hardly be more qualified.
"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," the source said.
"He can bring all that experience to hosting. Plus he has 'Saturday Night Live' experience before a live crowd. And worldwide, the biggest crossover comedians are Will Smith and Eddie Murphy."
Deadline says that Murphy’s international appeal is an important asset, due to the Oscar’s large global audience.
Aside from being on Saturday Night Live, Murphy was also one of the biggest names in stand-up comedy during the 80’s. He is also one of the movie industry’s biggest box office draws, with almost $4 billion in total movie receipts over his career.
Last year’s event was hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, two of the brightest young stars in Hollywood. However, their stardom was not enough to bring in an audience, as viewership went down from 41.7 million the year before to 37.6 with Franco and Hathaway as hosts, according to the New York Daily News.
If Murphy does host, it will be his first time hosting the Oscars and first time doing a live event in twenty years, said humormillmag.com, which first broke the rumor on Saturday.