Plans for the 84th Academy Awards ceremony in 2012 are being rapidly revamped this week, following the departure of producer Brett Ratner and onetime host Eddie Murphy. Brian Grazer quickly settled in as Ratner's replacement, but there's been some question over the past day (or so) about who would be taking Murphy's spot.
The bad news (for some) is that it won't be any of The Muppets. The good news (for others) is that it will be the ever-popular Billy Crystal, who will serve as the Oscars host for the ninth (count 'em, ninth) time.
UPDATE: Here is an official statement on the matter, from the Academy's press release:
Producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have announced that Billy Crystal will serve as host for the 84th Academy Awards. "I'm thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar® stage," said Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak. "He's a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs."
Commented Grazer, "Like so many others, I've been eager to see Billy host again. It's very gratifying that he agreed to do it with Don and me at the helm."
Said Mischer, "With Billy, we're moving forward with one of the greatest hosts in Oscar history. His return to the Oscars® is, in a sense, a celebration."
Crystal technically "broke" the news himself, when he Tweeted the following:
Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show
Many a film buff started (unofficially) petitioning and calling for Crystal to handle the 84th Oscars ceremony, follow 2011's “younger, hipper” Academy Awards show. That event was by and large viewed as a debacle, save for a few highlights and celebrity presenters - among them, Crystal's brief appearance.
This move on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' part should (generally) be well-received. However, some may be unimpressed with the decision, seeing it as a retreat to "safety" - with regards to how the 84th Oscars show will be conducted.
Plus, ratings for the awards presentation have been somewhat on the weaker side in recent years, which could arguably be chalked up (partially) to a lack of innovation on the Academy's part. Thus, bringing Crystal onboard might not do anything to buck that trend.
Which side of the fence do you fall on? Are you pleased to hear that Crystal will be back? Disappointed that Murphy won't be taking on the job? Some combination of the two?
Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Source: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences