Dwayne Johnson reveals he was the first choice to host the 2019 Oscars, but had to turn it down due to his commitment to filming the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sequel. This year marks the first time in three decades the Academy Awards will happen without a host. Coincidentally, Johnson's Jumanji co-star Kevin Hart was hired for the gig back in December 2018, but stepped down shortly after due to controversy surrounding old homophobic tweets and comments he made. In lieu of finding a replacement, the Academy is reportedly recruiting a rotating cast of A-listers to introduce the show's various segments.
It was a somewhat puzzling development, seeing that when Hart departed there was still plenty of time to bring in someone else. There's no shortage of qualified candidates, but the powers that be at the Academy decided host-less was the way to go. As it turns out, that may have been because this year they had some difficulty locking down an emcee. The man they initially wanted didn't have time in his busy schedule.
On Twitter, Johnson responded to a comment saying he should host the next Oscars by stating he was the Academy's choice for the job this year. Despite his best efforts to make it work, he needed to pass on the opportunity. Check out his post in the space below:
Ah mahalo dude, I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever. We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji. Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road 🥃 https://t.co/eiiMuBNOzb— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 6, 2019
As one of the most popular movie stars of his generation, Johnson certainly possesses many of the qualities one would look for in an ideal Oscar host. He's charismatic, funny, one of the most likable talents in show business. People obviously enjoy watching Johnson's work, so perhaps he would have been able to work his magic touch and help the Oscars bounce back from years of declining ratings. After all, he helped revitalize the Fast & Furious and Jumanji franchises (Welcome to the Jungle is the highest-grossing film in Sony's history), so it would have been fun to see what he could have brought to the Academy Awards. There's little doubt that with his tremendous work ethic and high levels of energy, he would have gone all out to make it something special.
Fans may look at this and say the Academy should hire Johnson for the 2020 Oscars now, but unfortunately things may not be that simple. It seems Johnson is always busy with something, and he has several projects lined up once Jumanji wraps. Among them include Robert Zemeckis' The King, a Big Trouble in Little China reboot, and action movie Red Notice, which co-stars Gal Gadot. Depending on how things play out, Johnson simply may not have the time to dedicate to making "the most fun and entertaining Oscars" in the near future. Hopefully he will one day, though, since it sounds like he had big plans for this year's Oscars that we'll sadly never see.
Source: Dwayne Johnson