Brett Ratner appears to be putting his stamp on the 84th Academy Awards. The co-producer’s selection (a job no one really wanted by the way) has been roundly criticized within and outside the Academy, but a report today indicates that he’s nominating his “Tower Heist” star Eddie Murphy to host the most prestigious awards show in the world.
Murphy insiders are saying it’s a done deal, but it appears Academy president Tom Sherak still has to sign off on the selection. The notoriously press shy Murphy hosted the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards, but has never appeared to have any interest in the Oscar gig. In fact, Murphy’s decision to leave the 79th Academy Awards after he was a surprising loser in the best supporting actor race during the first third of the show soured much of the goodwill he’d generated in his “Dreamgirls” turn. Murphy has not had much luck since with the bombs “Meet Dave” and “Imagine That.” The incredibly long delayed “A Thousand Words” is finally being released on Jan. 12. “Heist,” which also features Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick and Casey Affleck is seen as another potential comeback for the former box office champ.
After throwing it out in public and some interest on Ratner’s part, many thought audience favorite Billy Crystal would return to host one more time. Deadline is reporting Crystal would be offered a “marquee” moment during the broadcast, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
While no one doubts that Murphy has the comedic chops to be an intriguing host and he’s have many rooting for him to succeed, he’s hardly known for being self-deprecating, topical or even chummy with his acting peers (usually a requirement or two or the job). But if he does secure the job, it could end up being one of the biggest comebacks in Hollywood history.
Whether or not Murphy is formally offered the position should be determined no earlier than Tuesday.
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