Tasked with restoring the sense of unpredictability and excitement that everyone pretends the Oscars used to have, this year’s telecast producer Brett Ratner is said to be pushing for his Tower Heist star Eddie Murphy to host, almost but not quite fulfilling those jokes that he would probably just put Chris Tucker in there. Ratner will reportedly make his case for Murphy today at a meeting with Academy president Tom Sherak—most importantly, convincing Sherak to forget about past Eddie Murphy-at-the-Oscars incidents like the time he used his 1988 presentation of the Best Picture award to shame the Academy for not recognizing black performers, or when he exited the 2007 ceremony in a huff over not winning for Dreamgirls.
Despite these past flare-ups, Deadline quotes one source as saying that Murphy “worships” the Oscars, adding, “Nobody knows movies better or is a bigger cinephile than Eddie. Not Brett. Not even Quentin Tarantino. Eddie can quote scenes from every single movie word for word,” which should come in handy during those inevitable downtimes when the host needs to ad lib something. “Perhaps you all remember this scene from Hamburger: The Motion Picture,” Murphy can say. Anyway, even if Murphy’s memorization skills and Ratner’s slick salesmanship manage to land him the gig, it seems as though he will probably share it with Billy Crystal, who will likely also be involved in some capacity. So maybe they can act out some moments from My Giant.
UPDATE: Brett Ratner has apparently sold the Academy on Eddie Murphy as easily as talking an aspiring actress into sending him a topless photo, as no sooner was it rumored than this announcement came along to make it official.