TOLDJA! James Franco & Anne Hathaway To Host 83rd Annual Academy Awards


UPDATE: The Academy just made it official. Press release below. 

Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced just now that “James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27. We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that.” 

Analyzes Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond: “Part of the reason the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences feels comfortable going with these two is that both James Franco and Anne Hathaway have very successfully hosted Saturday Night Live. And they looked at that and felt these young actors could work in front of a live audience which is why in the past the Academy has gone to so many stand-up comedians. And, of course, the other factor is that they really ‘young up’ the Oscars this year. It’s an interesting choice and certainly unexpected and bold.”  

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS 6:45 AM: I’ve just learned that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has asked James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host the 83rd annual Academy Awards on February 27th at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater, and it “looks like” both young stars have accepted the offer. There is always the chance that one or both of them might back out because of prior commitments and other concerns. But my sources say the host announcement could be made as soon as this week. Both are starring in Fox movies out in theaters now: Franco in Fox Searchlight’s 127 Hours, and Hathaway in 20th Century Fox’s Love And Other Drugs. The star of Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, Hathaway did  a major dance and musical number with then host Hugh Jackman at the Academy Awards two years ago. Franco is also a multitalented actor who has taken risks in everything from the Spider-Man movie franchise to ABC’s General Hospital. Both are equally adept at comedy and drama. Their selection, if it pans out, is an inspired choice and demonstrates how much current Academy president Tom Sherak wants to improve Oscar ratings. 

What’s most unusual about their hosting is that both thesps may be Oscar nominees themselves in the fiercely competitive Best Actor and Actress categories this awards season. Franco is considered a shoo-in for a nomination director Danny Boyle’s thriller 127 Hours, the real life story of a trapped hiker who must choose between his arm and freedom. And Hathaway is more of a long-shot in director Ed Zwick’s romantic dramedy Love And Other Drugs which opened soft at the box office this past weekend. That might be the main reason one or both of the stars decide to beg off. A decision like this to host the Academy Awards is made by committee with a star’s agent, publicist, manager and even studio weighing all the pro and con options. Which is why the Academy has such a tough time finding good people every year to host because it can be such a career-altering decision. And even more so when the stars are this young.

Here’s the official announcement made shortly before 9:30 AM today: 

Beverly Hills, CA — James Franco and Anne Hathaway will serve as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards®, Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced today. Both have previously appeared on the telecast but not in hosting capacities.

“James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27,” said Cohen and Mischer. “We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that.” 

Franco, who currently can be seen in “127 Hours,” will be making his second appearance on an Oscar telecast. His other film credits include “Eat, Love, Pray,” “Date Night,” “Milk” and “Pineapple Express.” Franco is also known for his portrayals of Harry Osborn in the “Spider-Man” trilogy. 

Hathaway will be making her fifth appearance on an Academy Awards telecast. She was recently seen in “Alice in Wonderland” and currently can be seen in “Love and Other Drugs.“ Hathaway’s other film credits include “Bride Wars,” “Becoming Jane,” “The Devil Wears Prada” and “The Princess Diaries.” She was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for her lead performance in “Rachel Getting Married.” 

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide. 

    1. The question isn’t “why were they chosen”, it’s” why they accepted”. There’s slim chance that they won’t be ripped apart because that’s what we do, hold people up and then tear them down. There will be bets to see if Franco shows up stoned, and Hathaway, well, has she really been around and done enough to deserve to be the choice and why is she so thin and pale? I can hear it now. Stephen Colbert AND John Stewart together would have been great…”in my opinion” (don’t you just love The Good Wife!)

  1. They are good picks but Franco hosting the same year he’s going to be nominated (but most probably lose)? I don’t like that aspect of it. I still wish they would ask Jim Carrey to host. He’s the PERFECT person for the job.

  2. Say it isn’t true…absolutely boring selection and just another example of Hollywood pandering to the younger generation. Total uninspiring selection and definitely not an Worldwide audience drawing team.

      1. An inspired choice would be Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins the Oscars need true icons and not self-appointed ones by the Academy Awards producers.

        1. “An inspired choice would be Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins the Oscars need true icons and not self-appointed ones by the Academy Awards producers.”

          Agreed. Who better to present this year’s Oscars than those who have experienced winning. Having current “stars” of movies is just a marketing stunt to get us to see their pictures. For those of us watching the ceremony, we want to be immersed in the movies. Having Oscar royalty will do that for us.

        2. Oh boy that’s sounds exciting – can’t wait to see Anthony Hopkins do stand-up. I’ll be asleep by the red carpet. And just when did a Hollywood icon ever host this show? Never. It’s always been comics.

          Heck, they had Glenn Close backstage doing announcer work one year….

          Very interesting choice and new twist. And I like both of them. They could be on to something. Thought Baldwin and Martin were great last year.

    1. I can’t wait for the bitching to begin from those who think this is a good idea. The best hosts were Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal so that should tell you a smart comedian is a very good start which neither of these two are. As much as I like Hathaway as an actress, she’s not the right person to host and Franco will be laughably inert.

  3. Seems a little bit of a conflict for Franco as a prime contender for best actor no?

    It’s going to be strange getting on stage and hosting after having just won or lost an Oscar.

    1. It could be that Franco realizes that Firth has Best Actor in the bag and is preemptively working on building up some goodwill with the Academy by hosting. Such goodwill gets remembered the next time you have a picture in the Oscar race. Would Maggie Gyllenhal have really received a Supporting Actress nod for Crazy Heart if not for her work on the Technical Awards ceremony the year before?

  4. NO!!!!!!
    Come on let the people what they want. We want Tina!

    1. Tina Fey? No thanks. I love 30-Rock and loved her on SNL, but I don’t want to be force fed her uber-liberal agenda while I’m trying to enjoy the Oscars.

      1. “uber-liberal”? It’s amazing how the far right keeps getting away with moving the definition of “center” by reportedly force feeding the american population the big lie that their radical politics are somehow mainstream…

        1. Guess You Were Asleep Rip Van Winkle Edwin on the Last Election a Month Ago. The Country Rejected Your Liberal Agenda & the Far Left. Some of Us Have To Work To Pay For Your “Uber-Liberal” Policies. Wake Up – The “Left Coast California” is NOT Mainstream!!!

      2. I guess you’ll have to put up with the uber-liberal agenda of Franco and Hathaway then. Or just keep your TV tuned to Fox News to avoid any sort of discomfort.

      3. I’ll echo the other poster, what EXACTLY do you mean when you say that Tina Fey has an “uber-liberal agenda”? Provide some specific things she has advocated for? BTW, making fun of Palin doesn’t count.

        1. Poor baby-that “idiot Palin” is becoming more popular than that Idiot Obama, and maybe a little smarter too. Certainly a lot better basketball player too!!! OUCH!!!

          1. So let’s see, both Palin and Obama are successfully dividing the country and Glenn sees this as a popularity contest. Go back to high school and let the adults solve the problems.

            Amazing that the dimwit partisans for the Republican & Democrat parties are acting like, “well at least my party isn’t a plague on the country”. The awful truth is they both suck in oh so many ways.

          2. Glen – I’m a born and raised conservative Republican and devout Christian. Take this as candidly as I mean it: Shut up. We don’t want you speaking for our party. Politics have nothing to do with Tina Fey hosting the Academy Awards. She’s funny and her dry delivery works for live telecast. Although I didn’t vote for him, Obama’s reckless spending has averted what should have been an economic disaster worse than the Great Depression. A disaster created and handled badly by the guy I voted for twice. I may not agree with all of Obama’s politics, but he did the job he was asked to do. So, again, please, with a cherry on top, shut up.

            And I agree that although it’s a great idea to have young talent host the awards, maybe these aren’t the two to do it.

    2. love tina fey but she has been over-exposed of late. purely psychological but viewers might feel they’re watching sarah palin.

      1. Sorry, but Tina Fey has no edge. Her acceptance speech for the Mark Twain award had to be censored by PBS (of all people) because she couldn’t resist making it political by bashing Palin (no fan of Palin, Fey has milked it for too long). It exposed the “award” as a meaningless gift from liberals, to liberals. The PBS brass were smart enough to catch it. Tina Fey wasn’t.

  5. I like Hathaway, she definately has some stage prescence (If her part in Hugh Jackman’s opening a few years ago is any indication). But I just don’t see her as an Oscar Hostess. Same goes for Franco, who–if his SNL Appearances are any indication–is about as stiff as can be on Live TV. Try again, Academy!

  6. Does conflict of interest arise with possible nominations for both? Or does it make the night more interesting if one of the hosts could win?

  7. Inspired choice? You have to be kidding me. It’s inspired only if your goal is to appeal to the same old Hollywood crowd. However, if you are trying to grow the Oscars viewership and interest, it might be a good idea to have two hosts with some name and face recognition. Do you really think the majority of Americans know who James Franco is? Even given a picture of him as a hint would cause them to give you nothing but blank stares. Yes, they are fine actors but hosts of the Oscars? You’re joking.

  8. Well, I saw Hathaway host SNL and she wasn’t all that great. BUT I though last year’s hosts were going to be hysterical, and it wasn’t at all. I think the best choice would be to get someone who is a comedian, whether in television or cinema. That’s why Ellen worked so well a few years back.

  9. I think it’s nice. Inclusive, Hathaway was hilarious that one year with Jackman (“Um, Frank Langella was sitting right there…”), etc. No one will expect a parade of lame jokes other than, of course, The Rock sitting on Franco’s arm.

  10. The Oscars don’t need a host. The opening monologue is usually semi-lame, and Crystal’s schtick is tired. Would be nice to have a stage-trained actor open the show with some friendly patter and then on to the movies – that’s what the night is about. More clips, let’s see some seriously hilarious gag reels, behind-the-scenes footage. Show how the movies actually got made. Talk about the actor’s process. Show a scoring session. Let pro documentary directors film these segments, make them compelling. The whole vaudeville-burlesque-razzle dazzle vibe is a worn-out cliche. Couldn’t they at least *try* a more cinematic presentation, just once? Remember Chuck Workman’s shorts? Stack those against mindless Vilanchisms and it’s no contest. And yes I will now switch to decaf.

      1. Um…yes…The opening monologue was made fresh by Billy Crystal many years ago. Then he repeated it…and repeated it…and repeated it…and then other hosts tried the same thing…and repeated it…Now everybody wants to do the Crystalish opening song parody political and cultural references thing…

        Or did you not notice?

        It’s old. Time to move on.

  11. Two sometimes good actors in sometimes good movies hosting a show that is sometimes good. Makes sense to me. However, a true bold choice would have been two people very well known and very well liked. Two people that America apparently likes even when they do bad things. You need ratings for this show. You need some umph to get this show from declining in eyeballs. I bet if you had these two people the ratings and the show would be great.

    Yes-Tina Fey and for certain Charlie Sheen!!!!

  12. How in the hell will Franco and Hathaway improve ratings when 127 Hours expansion has been horrible and Love & Other Drugs (a film that Hathaway headlined and heavily heavily promoted) BOMBED at the box office? Franco has never led a successful film on his own and the only successes that Hathaway had were either due to Disney kids (the Princess Diaries), Meryl Streep (Devil Wears Prada), Johnny Depp & Tim Burton (Alice In Wonderland) or Steve Carrell (Get Smart)?

  13. Every time they don’t go with a comedian, it sucks. Sorry, Hugh Jackman was awful except for people who would rather be watching the Tonys. Jon Stewart and Chris Rock were both terrific and bold, and as the Emmys showed this year, even Jimmy Fallon can bring it. The only hope for this is that Franco brings out the weird.

    1. Eheheh–one of the best Oscar bits _ever_ was the man-on-the-street deal in which Chris compared what movies were up for Oscars vs. what movies people actually went to see. Immortal just for Albert Brooks’ assertion that he just loved “White Chicks.”

  14. I’d prefer Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Hathaway is a great choice, but Franco should stick to being a nominee (plus I’m not sure he could get through a four hour show without getting stoned). How about Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? He was fabulous hosting SNL and definitely has the energy and panache to keep up with Hathaway. God, that would be an opening number I’d love to see.

  15. What about Robin Williams! A brilliant standup comic, can think fast on his feet and an Oscar winner on top of it.

    Come on Academy get with it! Ann and James don’t have the experience to do this.

  16. James Franco can’t act! He sounds like Daffy Duck. What a terrible choice. Of course the Oscars have been boring for yrs. Thankfully I no longer watch TV. Why anyone thinks that franco is talented is beyond me, he couldn’t even act on a soap opera.

    1. If you don’t watch television then why do you care about movies or who is hosting this TV program? Or this blog for that matter?
      Take your elitist, old fashioned, tiresome opinions elsewhere please.

Comments are closed.