Now that Kevin Hart has officially stepped down as host for the 2019 Oscars, predicting his replacement is no easy feat. The Academy is not only on the hunt for a fresh face to represent Hollywood's gold standard in film appreciation, but someone who can overshadow this recent last-minute ditch and help attract a larger audience to counter last year's significant drop in ratings.
On December 4, 2018, Hart officially revealed on his personal Instagram account that he would be hosting the 2019 Oscars. However, after some of his older tweets that centered around anti-gay sentiments began to surface, the Academy requested that Hart either apologize for his comments or step down as host. At first unwilling to do so - claiming that he has already spoken publicly about these tweets, as well as some of his racier standup acts he's been criticized for in the past - Hart ultimately stepped down as host following criticisms to his response. Now, the Academy is looking for a seat to fill.
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The Academy is no stranger to playing fixer for public mishaps (see: the 2017 Oscars' Best Picture mishap), so they'll no doubt recover from their missing host situation some way or another. Now, it's just a case of narrowing down their options for possible successors - that is, assuming anyone is even game for claiming seconds. Here are our predictions for Kevin Hart's replacement as Oscar host for the 2019 Academy Awards.
Oscar hosts need to be charming, they need to be relevant, and they need to be household names. This is especially true when the Academy is pulling a last-ditch effort to find a host that will satisfy the masses without potential drama. So, considering that Ryan Reynolds isn't only an A-list favorite, but is also coming off the success of Deadpool 2 (as well as its PG-13 December re-release), this is the perfect opportunity for him to host. He's a leading man who knows how to win over an audience with precise comic timing, which will no doubt kill any leftover tension from the still-fresh Kevin Hart debacle.
John Krasinski & Emily Blunt
Though not especially common, the Academy is no stranger to including dual hosts for some of their ceremonies (see: Anne Hathaway and James Franco in 2011 and Steve Martina and Alec Baldwin in 2010). So, it couldn't hurt to try their hands with a duo once again. And who better than real-life husband and wife John Krasinski and Emily Blunt? Not only are they the charming "it" couple of Hollywood, they're both driving forces behind two major studio vehicles this year: A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns. While the former was a decidedly darker portrayal of their charming relationship, it no doubt highlighted their natural chemistry; and seeing as they both have roots in comedy, their knack for being natural entertainers makes them a perfect fit for the Oscars.
Like it or not, the Oscars are bound to get a bit political. At this point, even though the potency of political material varies by year and host, there's bound to be references to the state of the world - even outside of the entertainment industry. So, if the Academy wants to lean into this, while also incorporating a younger perspective, Kumail Nanjiani is a solid choice. Especially given the fact that Nanjiani was nominated for Best Original Screenplay alongside his wife Emily V. Gordon for The Big Sick in 2017, he already has his foot in the door with the Academy. A burgeoning talent with a strong opinion, Nanjiani could be a great follow-up to Jimmy Kimmel's two-year run as host, as well as a worthy replacement for Hart.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Ellen Degeneres is a host for a living. What's more is that she's already hosted the Oscars twice in recent history, having managed to score some of the highest ratings for the ceremony while doing so. However, it's not just her charm and recognition that suggests she might be a possible pick for the Academy; it's the fact that - for the first time in fifteen years - she's on the road again for a three-city comedy tour. So, seeing as she's already flexing her standup muscles once again, it's fitting that she might be open to trying her hand as Oscars 2019 host as well. She'd certainly be a safe pick for the Academy, but sometimes "safe" is necessary for ratings.
Page 2 of 2: More Possible Oscar 2019 Hosts
- Mary Poppins Returns (2018) release date: Dec 19, 2018