October 24, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Oscars: Brian Grazer producing the telecast, but who’ll host? – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: UPDATE: Brian Grazer has been confirmed as the producer of the 84th Academy Awards, filling in for Brett Ratner, who resigned.

Oscar speculation is running rampant today following the news, inevitable as it may be, that Eddie Murphy is leaving his post as Academy Award host.

Former producer Brett Ratner, who pulled Murphy into the fold, resigned from his gig on Tuesday following derogatory statements and (worse) a candid interview on the Howard Stern radio program. Murphy followed suit, leaving two massive voids that need to be filled before the 84th Academy Awards can move forward.

Sources tell THR that Brian Grazer is “in discussions” to step in as an Oscar producer. While Grazer’s reps have declined comment, the trade says the longtime movie producer “has [been] approached to come aboard and co-produce the show along with the previously announced Don Mischer.”

As for the host, Moviefone lucked into a phoner with one-time Oscar host Robin Williams – on behalf of “Happy Feet 2” – and asked if he’d consider hosting.

“No… Oh, please, that’s a tough gig. I was so looking forward for him to do it. I think he would have just been amazing — especially if they let him be characters. He could have made a movie. If he did a movie like what Billy [Crystal] did doing multiple characters, he’d be amazing,” Williams said.

Would Crystal ever return?

“I don’t know. I mean, he may. Steve [Martin] and Alec [Baldwin] were great [in 2009]. I don’t know,” Williams added. “You know, it’s a tough gig. It’s a top-heavy show, everything is loaded up in the front. And as it goes on longer and longer, people start to go, ‘Uh huh.’ But you hope for things like what Billy had. Just that moment when you really get a chance to break out and do something amazing. That’s what people remember. Years ago I presented an award and I said that one of the categories was ‘Writer, Producer, Director: The only creature capable of blowing smoke up his own ass’ — and I got a lot of shit for that.”

Stern, meanwhile, interviewed Ratner on Monday after his “Fags” scandal and basically fed the “Tower Heist” director more than enough rope with which to hang himself. On his show Wednesday, the shock jock chastised Hollywood for honoring Roman Polanski while throwing Ratner under the bus.

“I thought it was very interesting,” Stern said of his interview of Ratner. “Honestly, I found his conversation refreshing because he was being honest.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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