Oscars: Chris Rock In Talks To Host

Chris Rock is in talks to be the host of the 88th Academy Awards. We’re hearing that there are some issues to be resolved after about a week’s worth of negotiations, but a deal is expected to happen in the next couple of days. If it makes it will mark a coup for newly installed Oscars producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill.

Rock hosted the 77th Oscarcast in 2005, the second-most-viewed Academy Awards ceremony of the past 10 years, bettered only by the Ellen Degeneres-hosted show two years ago that drew 43.74 million viewers to ABC. Since then, Rock has only further established himself as one of the world’s best stand-up comics and also as an actor, producer and director. His Top Five was a hot title at last year’s Toronto Film Festival and was scooped up by Paramount for $12.5M in that year’s fest’s biggest deal. It winded its way through awards season and made $25.4M worldwide.

Hudlin and Hill told Deadline after they took over from previous Oscar producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan that they already were thinking about who could host their maiden show.  “We want the viewer to have a sense of excitement and a little hint of danger. I think those are good qualities to have in a host,” Hudlin told our Pete Hammond. “It is a high-wire act obviously and a lot of (potential hosts) are ‘I’m not ready for that kind of challenge.’ But we think there is an exciting  list of possibilities that could kill it.”

The 88th Oscars are set for February 28. Here’s Rock’s opening monologue from the 2005 show:

The film blog Robot Butt broke the news first today.

  1. Why not Chris tucker? Chris rock is a horrible choice. Come on, he is a great comedien but not the right fit for the oscars at all– need proof– watch the last oscars he hosted

  2. Is he the one who kept asking the crowd who Jude Law was? And then Sean Penn came out and told us who Jude Law was because he seemingly has no sense of humor?

    Well, that’s all I remember about Chris Rock hosting. His voice is a little abrasive, and I don’t think he’s a fit for what people still like to THINK the Oscars are, but he’s probably a better fit for the actual demo they want watching, even if they won’t cop to it.

  3. Umm….I like Chris Rock, but not as an Oscar host. I want someone new and funny. Why not try to get Eddie Murphy back???

  4. Ten to one the producers are slapping themselves on the back, thinking how lucky they are to have gotten the red-hot star of “Get Hard” and “Ride Along”

  5. Great! Inbetween all the jerking off over movies nobody saw that year, he’ll give me just the kind of jokes I want to hear here in the heartland: white conservatives are stupid devils.

  6. I thought he did great the last time he hosted the Oscars! He’s got energy to spare — and man, does that lumbering, bloated show need it!

  7. Ditch the Oscar host and just have a parade of Oscar winners present the awards. Ditch the musical performances too (this isn’t the Grammys or the Tonys) and ditch the montages and all the other crap with the exception of the “who died this year” montage.

  8. STOP PANDERING!! The Oscars deserves a classy host. Not a devisive, black comedian who thinks that putting down ‘white folks’ is funny. The how has lost it’s glamour, and he will most certainly drag it down even further. Yes, I said ‘black comedian’ because that’s his humor. He see’s everything through ‘black’ eyes. How about a host who’s a huge movie fan, respects the institution, and won’t have viewers changing the channel?

    When the dresses on the red carpet are classier than the awards show itself, it’s an issue.

    He’s not Academy Award Show worthy. It’s an honor to host the Oscars, not an entitlment. Period.

    1. If you saw “Top Five,” you’d see that he is much more than the person you have shallowly described here. It was thoughtful, funny and not “entitled” at all. In fact, it’s almost a Woody Allen throwback- this is a man who thinks and cares about the movie industry and what it means to be an artist.

  9. There are Oscar hosts whose goal is to have fun with the event, and there are hosts whose goal is to make fun of the event. Rock falls into the latter, and it’s a big risk if the producers don’t temper the tone of the rest of the show accordingly. Either the whole night needs to be somewhat irrereverent, or else Rock ends up looking all alone on that stage, like the guest no one invited. If they’re going to go with Rock, they need to get the most out of his talents and not create a show that works against him.

    Personally I think they should just find another host, but I like Rock. He’s a powerhouse, but I don’t think he’d be my #1 choice.

  10. Wrong Chris. They should get Chris Pratt, star of the biggest film of the year to host, alongside Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine.

  11. I would still rather see Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosting. They killed it at the Golden Globes and use writers who are FUNNY!

  12. I am relieved. Once again no reason to give up another Sunday night to watch these wretched people in self-congratulatory mode. I’ll admit to being a gay, middle-aged white male who doesn’t find Chris Rock entertaining or appealing in any way. Oops! I better be careful somebody is bound to call me a racist now.

  13. Great – Viewers will be treated to several white guilt jokes again if the nominations aren’t diverse.

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