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.