What a crazy story this has become.
Just yesterday it was reported that Brett Ratner had stepped down as a producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards ceremony after a gay slur and other poor speaking decisions rightfully saw him in boiling water. At the time it appeared that Eddie Murphy—Ratner’s choice to host the awards—would still be taking on the job, but the Academy was now on a desperate search for a replacement producer.
Now comes word that Murphy has also decided to bow out of his hosting duties. It’s unclear exactly why the choice was made, but it’s widely assumed that he was doing it for Ratner, who just directed him in Tower Heist, and that there was no reason for him to continue on now that Ratner is gone.
Of the announcement, Murphy said:
First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.
Thankfully, as Murphy was exiting, the Academy was bringing in their replacement producer, avoiding the difficult speedbump of having to find a replacement producer AND host only three months before the awards are held.
It’s been reported that Brian Grazer, super-producer of Imagine Entertainment with Ron Howard, will now producer the Oscars in Ratner’s place. Interestingly enough, Grazer is a producer on Tower Heist as well.
But now the big question is who will replace Murphy. A movement has begun to get the Muppets to host, which would make more sense now than almost any other time…and would be very, very interesting to see. I can’t deny how awesome it would be if the Muppets did get to do it.
Oh yeah, and when all else has seemed to fail, this does sound like a job for Billy Crystal. Let’s not forget that he was said to be involved with the awards whether he was hosting or not, so perhaps we’ll see him jump in for one last go of it.
Who do you want to see replace Murphy?