×

Franco, Hathaway to host Oscars

Academy Awards to air Feb. 27

James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been tapped to co-host the 83rd Academy Awards.

Both have films currently in release: Franco stars in “127 Hours” and Hathaway co-stars with Jake Gyllenhaal in “Love and Other Drugs.” Neither have hosted before, but Hathaway participated in a song-and-dance routine when Hugh Jackman hosted in 2009.

Move comes a year after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin front the show.

The decision also marks the first time since 1957, when Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm hosted, that a man and woman will co-host together.

Oscar producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer said that in addition to bringing a male and female perspective to the show, the Academy wanted to put the focus on movie stars who are just as capable as comedians.

“There was a period in the 50s and 60s where movie stars co-hosted the show all the time, and we really want to give the show that kind of feeling again,” Cohen told Daily Variety. “With the combination of these two names we think they can help give the show a refreshing feel.”

Mischer added that both had shown their hosting abilities on “Saturday Night Live” with each hosting an episode of the show.

Mischer said the producers have begun brainstorming but that as of now, it is still a work in progress. He added that Franco and Hathaway have said they’re committed to giving their own input on the telecast.

The decision emphasizes how much the Academy wants to appeal to a more youthful aud. Cohen and Mischer said the hosts “personify the next generation of Hollywood icons.”

At 28, Hathaway becomes one of the youngest to co-host the Oscars telecast ( Donald O’Connor was also 28 when he hosted in 1954) since the Oscars began airing on TV in 1953. With Franco, who is 32, the pair “add up to the age of a usual Oscar host,” quipped Vanity Fair.

While recent hosts Chris Rock and Jon Stewart are not quite as young, their material is often aimed at a younger demographic.

Not only do both actors have films playing in theaters, but Franco is gathering considerable buzz for his perf in Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours.”

If either thesp were Oscar-nommed, it would mark the first time in more than 20 years for a host to be nominated.

The last person who was both a host and nominee was Paul Hogan, who co-hosted with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn in 1987, and was nommed for his “Crocodile Dundee” original screenplay.

Other past hosts who were also nommed include Michael Caine and David Niven, who won best actor for his perf in “Separate Tables” in 1959.

The Oscars will be telecast on ABC from the Kodak Theater on Feb, 27.

More Film

  • For Lineup Story

    Billie Piper's Directorial Debut, 'Rare Beasts,' to Bow in Venice Critics' Week

    “Rare Beasts,” the directorial debut of British stage and screen actress Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Collateral”) is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, which has unveiled its lineup of nine first works, four of them from female filmmakers. Produced by Vaughan Sivell of Western Edge Pictures in association with [...]

  • 'Mientras dure la guerra' -Rodaje Modmedia-

    Alejandro Amenabar, Ricardo Darin, Paco Cabezas Bound for San Sebastian

    MADRID  –  Alejandro Amenábar, Ricardo Darín and Paco Cabezas, director of episodes from “Peaky Blinders” and “American Gods,” look set to join Penelope Cruz, already confirmed as a Donostia Award winner, at this year’s 67th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival. The biggest movie event in the Spanish-speaking world, this year’s San Sebastian runs Sept.20-28. Amenábar’s [...]

  • Pinewood Studios James Bond

    Netflix's Shepperton Studios Deal Is Stretching the U.K.'s Production Limits

    Netflix’s huge new hub at Shepperton Studios outside London is a further fillip for Britain’s booming production sector. Amid jitters over Brexit and its effects on the economy, the streaming giant’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the U.K. entertainment industry and a continuing source of local jobs. But the decision by Netflix to [...]

  • Bottom of the 9th

    Film Review: ‘Bottom of the 9th’

    Nearly two decades after scoring an audience award at Sundance for “Two Family House,” a smartly understated yet deeply affecting indie about a Staten Island factory worker who deeply regrets stifling his showbiz ambitions, director Raymond De Felitta steps back up to the plate with “Bottom of the 9th,” another dramatically solid and emotionally satisfying [...]

  • Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in

    Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in Africa (EXCLUSIVE)

    DURBAN–Endemol Shine Group has sold the rights to adapt its critically acclaimed and highly popular Nordic Noir detective series “The Bridge” to Cape Town-based production company Both Worlds Pictures, Variety has learned exclusively. The series will feature an all-African cast and will be set around the Beit Bridge border crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Originally known [...]

  • Durban Film Fest 2019

    Durban Fest Hails Film as ‘Conscience of Our Nation’

    DURBAN–When Ros and Teddy Sarkin raised the curtain on the first Durban Intl. Film Festival 40 years ago, the odds were long that their scrappy fest would survive its inaugural edition. The apartheid government and its draconian censorship board had a stranglehold on the films that reached South African theaters, banning the sorts of subversive [...]

  • Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

    Film Review: 'Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell'

    “Streetwise,”  the classic and haunting 1984 documentary about homeless street kids in Seattle, is a movie that’s now 35 years old. But for anyone who has seen it, the children it’s about — drifters, hustlers, squatters, thieves, prostitutes — remain frozen in time. And none of them was ever more memorable than Tiny, the 14-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content