Over at the Los Angeles Times/Envelope 24 Frames blog, Nicole Sperling has a juicy exclusive regarding this year’s Oscar telecast. It seems Brett Ratner and Don Mischer, producers of this year’s show, have hired a unique crop of comedy writers to work alongside Eddie Murphy and shake things up a bit.
Scribes tapped include: Alec Berg and David Mandel, two of the writers on Larry David’s successful HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; Jeff Nathanson, who frequently works with Ratner (“Tower Heist” and the “Rush Hour” films); Ted Griffin, who was part of the team of writers on Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s” franchise; and Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield, who worked with Murphy on the “Nutty Professor” series and “Saturday Night Live.”
Jon Macks, who wrote on the last 14 Oscarcasts and has extensive experience with variety show writing, from the Emmys to the Country Music Awards to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” will also be on board.
It is also revealed that Ratner will bring writer/director Cameron Crowe on to work on some sort of bit.
“I”m new to this and I wanted to feel comfortable, since I have to drive this whole thing,” Ratner tells Sperling in the piece. “So I brought in guys that I have a personal relationship with and I”ve worked with before.”
I’m all for it. If you’re going to breathe new life into the show, then you REALLY need to breathe new life into it. Not half-measures. And this is the kind of team that could bring comedic spice to a show that so frequently drowns in comedic best intentions gone flat.
The 84th annual Academy Awards, by the way, go down on Sunday, February 26. Are we there yet?