It really seemed like we were on our way to what would be a fresh and thoroughly entertaining Academy Awards presentation this year with Kevin Hart serving as the latest Oscars host. But then the past came back to bite him — and ultimately us — in the arse in the form of homophobic jokes he had made years ago, resulting in his dropping out before the controversy forced him out. Nonetheless, there was hope that something could be worked out as the Academy unsuccessfully looked for a replacement. Now comes word, however, that the ceremony is not going to have a host at all.
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, insiders told Variety, “Producers will select a crop of A-listers to introduce various segments instead of relying on one marquee name to kick things off in a monologue filled with Trump zingers. The producers and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Oscars, are scrambling to line up top talent needed to carry the telecast, which is just six weeks from airing live — on Feb. 24 — from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Hand-wringing at the Academy has been palpable.”
For fans of superhero blockbusters, The Hollywood Reporter is also claiming there are now some intriguing activities taking place behind-the-scenes. “To up the star quotient even further, the show’s producers are currently lining up appearances by as many big-name cast members from Marvel’s sprawling Avengers franchise as possible. An Avengers all-star Oscar reunion wouldn’t be unprecedented,” the magazine revealed. “Following the success of 2012’s Avengers, the 2013 telecast featured Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) together onstage. But since then, the Avengers’ ranks, as well as those of its rivals and foes, have only grown, and this time around the Academy is looking to pull together an even bigger assemblage.”
The last time the Academy Awards went hostless was in 1989, featuring an 11-minute extended opening sequence that saw, among other things, Rob Lowe singing and dancing with Snow White. Yes, it was that bad. Here’s hoping Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can make a difference!