The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science made an interesting announcement today, sharing who will be the host(s) of this year’s 83rd annual Academy Awards ceremony.
The quintessential Oscar host is someone with a comedy background that we rarely ever see getting nominated for the awards themselves. Previous hosts like Billy Crystal, John Stewart, and Steve Martin fit this mold, and for the most part, the formula has worked perfectly fine. Recently, however, the Academy has decided to shake things up a bit in hopes of attracting younger audiences. First they hired Hugh Jackman to bring a little flash to the show with more of a song and dance flare, and then semi-retracted to traditional hosts with Steve Martin, though this time he was paired up with Alec Baldwin.
Today it was announced that for the upcoming ceremony, the plan is to really step outside of the box. Superstars Anne Hathaway and James Franco will be teaming up to co-host the show together, effectively making them the youngest to host (Hathaway will be youngest to have taken the job) and likely winning the eyes of said younger audience the Academy so desires.
Oscar producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer had this to say about the announcement:
James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27.
We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that.
The hope is that Hathaway, who is starring in the new Edward Zwick film Love and Other Drugs, and Franco, who’s starring in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, will both also nab nominations for their performances. This would be a very rare occasion; Walter Matthau and Michael Caine were nominated when they were co-hosting, and David Niven won an Oscar in 1958 when he was also a co-host.
Franco and Hathaway are both incredibly talented and possess great ability to be both dramatic and comedic when called for. I had strong hopes that this would be the perfect year to bring in Conan O’Brien to host, but it should be interesting to see what they come up with for two stars of this caliber.