Friday, December 12, 2008

Hugh Jackman, Oscar Host?

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JA from MNPP here. Here's what Nikki Finke is saying today:

"The Academy Awards is going international with its emcee choice -- Australian actor Hugh Jackman, star of X-Men, Australia, and the upcoming Wolverine, as well as People Magazine's 2008 "Sexiest Man Alive".

But, and it's a BIG but [ed. - Mmhmm], while the 40-year-old Sydney-born thesp of English parentage has received the AMPAS offer and is very interested, I'm told that he's not yet fully committed. Because there's still a lot of negotiating ahead between his showbiz representatives and AMPAS."

She goes on to explain that the show would have to be different - Hugh's not a stand-up comedian - but that the producers might want to exploit Hugh's singing and dancing skills (duh).

When was the last time anyone got great reviews hosting the Oscars anyway? I remember loving Ellen Degeneres but then the consensus ripped her to shreds. Same with Jon Stewart. Then again, I liked Letterman too. Obviously, I have no idea. If Jackman promises that ,at some point during the night, he'll come out in his Wolverine wife-beater/jeans ensemble and do some back-flips, I'm sold.

ETA It has been confirmed.
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54 comments:

Cengiz said...

I want him to do something like this at the Oscars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX2iwXDoHAw

I'm sold on Hugh Jackman hosting the Oscars.

Robert said...

To be honest, I'm a bit worried. With the possibility of The Dark Knight being nominated, Oscar is prepped for its best ratings in years.

And their plan to retain viewers is to turn it into a song and dance bonanza?

For the record, I don't like Bill Condon.

NATHANIEL R said...

maybe Hugh will be singing all five nominated songs then, a la Beyonce?

jimmy said...

he'd be fine. what's the deal w billy crystal....just not interested i suppose. i get a little tired of Hugh Jackman - he knows how pretty he is. I would really like to see Leslie Caron & louis Jordan present the Best Picture award this year - 50th anniversary of "Gigi". That's pretty incredible to have 2 stars still alive from a "Best Picture".

NATHANIEL R said...

jimmy --what a great idea. Of course it will probably go to someone more famous but infinitely less particularly chosen like, say, Tom Cruise.

Derek said...

Well, I'm pumped! He's a fun, likeable guy, and maybe he'll do some segments with no pants on - you never know.

Kim said...

He was a delightful Host for the Tonys. I think he'll be a great Oscar Host. He MUST do a big song and dance number!

Anonymous said...

I think it's a perfect choice. I'm so excited for it. The man is still a "B" actor when he should easily be an "A-lister." Might as well exploit him even more. =)

Anonymous said...

I'll never understand the mediocre reviews that Jon Stewart received... I thought he was the best host in over a decade, particularly last year's performance.

Anonymous said...

So he knows he's pretty? He's not cocky, and from every single person who has worked with him, he's friendly, hilarious, and down to earth. I really hope he will host.

John T said...

I believe this will be the greatest idea ever...if he hosts the awards show shirtless, and mud wrestles the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominees (contingent on Pitt and Brolin winning there, though).

Alex M said...

If he's half as good as he was in The Boy From Oz I'm sold...either that or he has a who has the most abs contest live at the oscars!
lol

Nick M. said...

I thought the whole idea was that the Oscars were trying to limit the amount of interminable dance numbers.

I want Jon Stewart back.

YH said...

Hugh Jackman? Say what????

Sorry, but as awesome as he was with the Tonys, he's not a comedian, this isn't the Tonys crowd, and with no monologue or funny quips during the show, that could spell disaster with a capital D for an already ratings-starved telecast. Hmmm.

dead man/flowers said...

Dear Mr. Jackman,
We want you to host our oscar because, well, that's the only way we'll get you to the Kodak Theatre this year, isn't it? Thanks.

Jake said...

It's going to be a new kind of show, for sure, but it's been something like six straight years of observational comedy, maybe it's time for something new.

Ricky Gervais was my great hope on this one, though.

The strange thing is how this goes against the tradition of the host NOT being involved in the year's bushel of nominated films. It's part of why Billy Crystal took years off in the 90s. Ostensibly, Australia is going to get noms, tho not likely for Jackman.

Janice said...

//He was a delightful Host for the Tonys. I think he'll be a great Oscar Host. He MUST do a big song and dance number!//

Well said, Kim. I think the thing about Jackman is that, with his experience in theater and live performing (as well as his hosting gig the Tonys) knows how to work a room, knows how to entertain and bring it on that a lot of his film collegues, who can act only when they are working with a script and have no talent for improv, have no clue about.

And he's funny and charming enough (watch any interview) that his "not being a professional comedian" would not be any problem. Again, it's about knowing how to entertain, and that he's got in spades.

Anonymous said...

YH,

Have you ever seen an interview with Hugh? He's quite the comedian.

Mariposa said...

It's official. It's Hugh!

YH said...

He's not a professional comedian, which is what I meant and more than just having a sense of humor. I want a Jon Stewart there to quip about the banalities of the Oscars telecast. Hugh Jackman would have never come up with something like "Three 6 Mafia, 1. Martin Scorsese, 0."

KKR said...

I LOVE this choice. Very inspired. Jackman was absolutely sublime at the Tonys, he's very entertaining.

I hope they do a big number like 'One Night Only' when he hosted the 2004 Tonys. How great would that be? I can't wait!

FenixPahedi said...

i want to share the official nwes with you:

Hugh Jackman to Host
81st Academy Awards®

Beverly Hills, CA –– Hugh Jackman will host the 81st Academy Awards® telecast, producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon announced today. This will be Jackman’s first time center stage at the Oscar show, although he has previously been a presenter.

“Hugh Jackman is a consummate entertainer and an internationally renowned movie star,” said Mark and Condon in a joint statement. “He also has style, elegance and a sense of occasion. Hugh is the ideal choice to host a celebration of the year’s movies – and to have fun doing it.”

Jackman stars in the current release “Australia,” directed by Baz Luhrmann. He will next be seen in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” having portrayed the title character in the previous three smash-hit “X-Men” movies. His other film credits include “The Prestige,” “Flushed Away,” “The Fountain,” “Happy Feet,” “Van Helsing,” “Kate & Leopold” and “Swordfish.”

A native of Australia, Jackman won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in “The Boy from Oz.” He has served as host of the Tony Awards ceremony and won a 2005 Emmy for that assignment.

Jackman’s other stage credits include “Carousel,” “Oklahoma!” “Sunset Boulevard” and “Beauty and the Beast.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

SOURCE:OSCARS.ORG

Shawn said...

This is great. I can't wait.

And to all the nay sayers up in here, who says we need a "comedian" anyways?

Deborah said...

G string!

Derek said...

I don't know why Stewart always gets credit for the "Three 6 Mafia/Martin Scorsese" line. I'm sure he wasn't thinking of this when he said it, but after the 2002 ceremony, EW made the *exact* same joke about Eminem and Martin Scorsese. Again, I'm sure Stewart didn't do that on purpose, but the joke was not new, yet that's THE joke everyone talks about from his hosting gig, and he's not even the first person who's used it?

m. said...

yay, hugh and bill condon hopefully means lots of song and dance numbers

daniel day lewis is doing "nine" maybe he too should sing the best actress presentation

Garen said...

I remember the criticism after Ellen hosted. I remember being completely baffled by it. I thought she was awesome.

YH said...

It's b/c Stewart said it there in that moment that echoed the sentiment of what people were thinking at the right time. And it was funny as hell. No one said it was original. Haven't those "priceless" lines been going around forever now? It doesn't stop it from being used in different contexts and being funny many times after.

And I didn't say that there was ever a rule that only a comedian should do this, but like it or not, that's how it's normally done. Some people, like just about everyone here, love changing things left and right and applaud this change, while I guess I'm more a traditionalist. I won't be the only one. He'll have to work to turn this crowd, b/c this isn't the Tonys.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris320 said...

Is he going shirtless? Unless he IS gonna go shirtless, I don't see how that could be interesting to anyone.

JorgeRodrigues said...

Hugh Jackman? The Academy has gone mental :)

Bailey said...

Um...fuck yeah!!!

Will he need a fluffer?

*Raises hand

Bailey said...

Serious though, I heart all things Jackman. The man can do no wrong. He's ridiculous eye candy, fun to listen to, and genuinely seems like great, nice guy.

*Swoon*

DVR-ing for repeated viewings in 5, 4, 3, 2...

Lol said...

The people saying this man is going to be boring have never seen him perform live, host, present, or interview. He's incredibly charming and witty.

And you do realize that the show has WRITERS, don't you? They don't write all their own jokes. If you don't think a performer can, ahem, perform as well as a comedian is a bit ridiculous, considering it's line delivery off a teleprompter.

Lol said...

But then again, everyone acts like everything John Stewart says is GOLD straight from his God-like brain. I like him and think he's a funny guy, but the annoying fangeeks get really obsessive.

John Stewart and Ellen have been the Academy's best choices in years. I think Hugh definitely has the potential to be up there as well.

And am I the only one on the planet who could never stand Billy Crystal?

Glenn said...

Maybe not having a comedian on board will help make the show go FASTER! No needless comedy skits (as amusing as they can be, I'm not watching for a reaction shot of Jack Nicholson so a joke about him banging Keira Knightley or whatever they'd come up with) and the like.

John T said...

And I gotta say, I'm really not a fan of this-couldn't they have nabbed an actor who is naturally funny, or paid the fortune and brought back Billy? I like the comedy bits with him, and every layman in the country thinks Billy Crystal should host the Oscars again.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen an interview with Hugh, John? He IS naturally funny. And boy can he work a crowd.

Lets not make assumptions about him unless these statements can be backed. He is charming, hilarious, and natural. I think he's going to be great. And at least some part of Australia will be awarded, no matter how indirectly. =)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've seen him in interviews and both times he hosted the Tonys (which he was great at b/c that job suited his talents). It's not about him having a sense of humor (yeah, I know he does), or being an affable person in general (I'm sure he is). It's about if he's right for this job and this crowd. And for me, yes, give me Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert any day of the week for this over Hugh Jackman. Don't assume that the people who aren't over the moon about this news haven't seen him host or be interviewed before. That's lame and presumptious to do.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Because the revolving door of comedians that the Academy have resulted in so much success in the ratings, which is the reason behind the decision. It may not work, but choosing another lefty comedian who'll crack jokes about Obama all night isn't going to get people watching any more than in years past.

Colin said...

News for all those people who would actually rather have Billy, Ellen or Jon: that means you've watched the Oscars in past years, and probably not for the hosts alone, either, which means the people behind this year's show don't care a whit about which host you want. They're looking to draw in Oscar "independents", and if those stand-up comedians didn't do it for them, maybe an actual movie star hosting, y'know, the biggest movie-star awards ceremony in the world might instead.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Very good point. I imagine the selection of Jon Stewart was merely preaching to the choir when Jackman, or others like him, could be like that scene in Sister Act when the new "radical" idea brings in people from the outside world (yes! Sister Act references are made of win).

Robert said...

The problem being, I'm not sure turning the thing into The Academy Awards Musical Review and Vareity Hour will bring in outside people.

Colin said...

@Robert: Which is the second part of the whole "independents" story - do most people even know that Hugh Jackman has a musical pedigree, let alone a Tony for The Boy from Oz? Most of his celeb visibility comes from playing Wolverine, and maybe a bit of the Drover, tops. When people hear "Hugh Jackman's hosting the Oscars," they're not gonna think "aw shit, it's gonna be a all-singing all-dancing revue," but closer to: "Wolverine. In a tux." The rest is just cherries and chocolate sprinkles atop a very tasty host.

Robert said...

well Colin, this is a fair point. The problem is when these people change the channel and don't come back next year.

The Oscars are in serious trouble, ratings wise, and it doesn't have to be all things to all people. The goal is to appeal to a wide audience without pandering. And I think singing and dancing appeals to a very small audience.

If my goal is to entertain me, then Hugh Jackman is a fine host. But if my goal were to get and keep viewers, I think Hugh Jackman makes a poor host.

Janice said...

//well Colin, this is a fair point. The problem is when these people change the channel and don't come back next year.

The Oscars are in serious trouble, ratings wise, and it doesn't have to be all things to all people. The goal is to appeal to a wide audience without pandering. And I think singing and dancing appeals to a very small audience.//

If the Oscars are indeed in trouble ratings wise, then why keep on keepin' on with the same damn thing (comedians as hosts) if it's not working? Doesn't it make sense to try to shake up the format? (you know, like "hey let's try the African American dude for president because things can't get any worse, right?")

I know a lot of hetero women (and gay men) who like Hugh and like this idea. (And btw - I remember a time before this endless string of comedians. It was fun for a while and then it just got dull, to the point where the Oscars are not must-see viewing for any but the most devoted (crazy?) Oscar fans.)

Anonymous said...

The reasons for the low Oscars ratings aren't b/c of the hosts, comedians or not. It's that people don't give a damn about the Oscars or these films that they're rewarding. Queen Oprah herself would struggle to get ratings for this telecast in this era. Hugh Jackman won't bring in any more people than Jon Stewart did or Chris Rock or Ellen or any of them. So given the choice, yeah, I want a real comedian that I can at least be amused with during that night.

Robert said...

I agree with anonymous, the major problem is that the Oscars come off as an exclusive party for movie snobs.

Though I've heard that the producers plan to feature movies like The Dark Knight and WALL-E, whether or not they get nominated.

And that's something I wholeheartedly agree with. The Oscars should be a celebration of the year in film... all films. They can award the movies they care about while still celebrating the movies that the public cares about... and who knows, in the process maybe make the two intersect.

FenixPahedi said...

I think its a great idea to have Jackman as host. AMPAS really needs to change several things in their ways of doing things, and changing the typical host style is a good beginning.

Lol said...

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've seen him in interviews and both times he hosted the Tonys (which he was great at b/c that job suited his talents). It's not about him having a sense of humor (yeah, I know he does), or being an affable person in general (I'm sure he is). It's about if he's right for this job and this crowd. And for me, yes, give me Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert any day of the week for this over Hugh Jackman. Don't assume that the people who aren't over the moon about this news haven't seen him host or be interviewed before. That's lame and presumptious to do.


I didn't assume anything. My questions were obviously rhetorical.

And yes, who wants a sense of genial humor in a host? What a terrible quality. Much better to turn the broadcast into The Daily Show 2. *Snort*

Lol said...

If you want John Stewart, fine, but admit that it's because you're a fantard, not because of any inadequacies of Hugh's. I don't know why you think "this job" or "this crowd" is somehow amazingly different from any other showbiz event on Earth, but um...it's really not. Please. Throw a couple Jack Nicholson jokes out there and those idiots eat it up.

I was waiting to see how it would tike for sometime make the extremely tired suggestion of Stephen Colbert. *Cringe*

Anonymous said...

A "fantard"? Really? Because I prefer Jon Stewart as a proven host of this show, or Stephen Colbert, or any number of established comics who'd either be better suited to handle the ad-lib qualities of the job (which is more than reading a damn cue card or teleprompter), or have been host already and done great jobs at it? Whatever. Get the hell over yourself.

NATHANIEL R said...

robert though it may be counterintuitive to say so I think the answer for the Oscars is to NOT pander to mass audiences but focus on things that people who care about movie awards shows might actually care about: celebrities, glamour, film clips, the movies. I mean why wouldn't a song & dance number work in that context?

I really hate the knee jerk anti-musical thing. People kept blaming PUSHING DAISIES failure on the musical numbers... but honestly every person I know who watches pushing daisies (with the exception of JA) is a fan of musicals and loves it when Kristin & Ellen sing. I think it was a poor decision to not reflect what the core fans enjoyed. Only one musical number in season 2? I call foul. It just hasn't felt as special this year (even though it's still great)

I really think in today's very splintered audience world that the Oscar ratings will never be what they once were --the world is a much different place with 1000s of viewing options, celebrity gawking needing no particular event to help you do it, and everybody getting clips of the pieces of things they're interested in on youtube -- so why not NOT worry about slipping ratings and just have a party honoring the movies?

Glenn said...

But Anon, most of the so-called "ad-libs" are hastily written backstage by A PACK OF WRITERS! Don't give the likes of Stewart too much credit. And Jackman HAS ALREADY HOSTED. And an awards show, too.