Last week we reported on the fact that the all-singing, all-dancing host of the 2009 Oscars, Hugh Jackman had turned down the opportunity to return in 2010 because he didn't want to host two years in a row. At the same time, there was a rumor flying around that Neil Patrick Harris was going to be picking up the reigns, after doing such a great job at the Emmys in September. Although not my first choice for an Oscar host (I still maintain George Clooney is the perfect choice), NPH would have been a fine runner-up, IMO.
However, as happens a lot with these pesky little things we call rumors, NPH hasn't gotten the gig. So who has? Well, I'm glad you asked - none other than Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. That's right, the Academy has decided to double-up this year and bring on a comedic acting duo.
For the most part, this news is being taken very well by movie fans around the web. I will happily lump myself in with that majority: Martin and Baldwin are great choices, and I very much look forward to them working as a team to (hopefully) keep the Oscars entertaining - particularly when there are so many elements of the actual Oscar ceremony - namely the musical numbers and endless montages - that often drag it down. This will be Martin's third time hosting (his first two times in 2001 and 2003 are highlights for the show) which means first-timer Baldwin will be able to somewhat rely on him.
Having said that, inevitably they weren't the only names attached as hosting possible hosts apart from the aforementioned Neil Patrick Harris; a few other names also got thrown into the mix. Nikki Finke reported yesterday that Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Stiller were apparently approached by newly selected producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic to host as a duo. My first reaction to that was - "Man, that would have been killer!" Other than Clooney, Downey Jr. would be my pick for perfect Oscar host, and since he and Stiller worked together on Tropic Thunder, I bet the dynamic between the two would have been dynamite. However, for an unknown reason, the two actors turned down the opportunity. A real shame, IMO.
However, that's not all: In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, producers Shankman and Mechanic said they tried to get Martin and 30 Rock co-star (and Oscar co-presenter) Tina Fey to host as a duo, before turning to Baldwin. Here's an excerpt from the interview about why they couldn't get Fey to host:
"It was a really quick discussion and it was mostly about 'do you think that could work?' It wasn’t that she (Fey) turned us down but her work schedule right in that time, she’s writing the last of her shows, and we realized then that it wouldn’t work. But they [Fey and Martin] were so great on the show together (the Oscars last year) and he’d done 30 Rock. Once again there were lots of discussions in there."
Shankman also said that the reason for bringing on a duo to host this time is, "in the interests of streamlining the show," and revealed that Martin and Baldwin will be used both together and separately, which is a good idea in my eyes (keeps things more interesting). If you're interested, you can read the rest of the interview over at EW.
So there you have your next Oscars hosts in Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. As I said, I think they're great choices, and the fact that they're not an already-established comedy duo will make for an interesting dynamic. However, once again the Oscars go another year without my pick, Goerge Clooney, being given the chance to charm the pants off the viewers and the star-studded audience of fellow actors and filmmakers. If and when he gets the gig in the future, just note that I championed him here on Screen Rant :) .
What do you think of Martin and Baldwin being the hosts of the 2010 Oscars, particularly as a duo? If you're not happy with the choices, who would you have chosen instead?
The Oscars will air on March 7th, 2010.