He was in the running to win an Oscar for Dreamgirls a few years ago, but might Eddie Murphy end up with the next best thing? The dream gig, if you will?
Deadline Hollywood has an exclusive that at a meeting scheduled for this Tuesday, the new Oscar producer Brett Ratner is to offer one name to Academy President Tom Sherak, when it comes to who should host the biggest awards show that there is. And that name is Eddie Murphy.
Unsurprisingly, an Academy spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available to comment. But we will. Or at least offer an opinion. First off, however, it’s worth noting that Deadline is hedging its bets somewhat, admitting that Murphy is by no means a done deal as Ratner’s Oscar producing partner, Don Mischer, has been approached by several big names keen to take a shot at what’s arguably been a difficult job to do well in recent years. As we’ve pointed out, Billy Crystal has already said he’s willing to listen to offers.
NewsFeed’s opinion is that it would surely be a win-win for Ratner, if he gets what Deadline claims is his way. In November, the Ratner-directed movie Tower Heist is coming out, starring Ben Stiller and a certain Eddie Murphy. You can look at it in the sense that Ratner and Murphy have been working closely together so the Oscars would benefit from their chemistry. Or you can look at it in the sense that Tower Heist will get an unparalleled publicity boost from one of its main stars getting set to helm the Oscars. Murphy is also slated to appear in the dramedy, A Thousand Words, on January 12, which would be released roughly six weeks ahead of the big O shindig, as the 84th Oscars take place on February 26.
But we’re not just cynics. There are genuinely good, non-new movie related reasons for why Murphy hosting does make sound sense. Though it’s been a rocky road over the course of his career, the likes of Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places and The Nutty Professor are all memorable movies.
He’s got experience as an MC, as his stellar showings taking the lead on Saturday Night Live ably proves. Deadline also spoke to a movie insider, who put forward the view that Murphy is a huge fan of cinema, saying that “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.”
And thirdly, if the Academy is making diversity a priority (see recent honorary Oscars being awarded to Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones) then the position of host is as high-profile as it gets. But ultimately, all we ever ask from our Oscar host is to make us feel welcome, make us laugh and not make the show about him or herself.
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