Developments on the Academy Awards front are coming in fast and furious. First came word that Brett Ratner was resigning as Oscars producer in light of the controversial remarks he made during a “Tower Heist” public screening last weekend. Less than 24 hours later, Eddie Murphy dropped out as the show’s host, leaving the biggest night in Hollywood without two of its most important creative pillars.
Well, at least one of those holes has now been filled: Imagine Entertainment co-founder Brian Grazer has been tapped to replace Ratner as producer of the 2012 Academy Awards.
“Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who over the past 25 years has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work,” Academy president Tom Sherak said in a statement posted on Oscars.org. “He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscars.”
Grazer is set to co-produce alongside industry veteran Don Mischer. “It’s very gratifying to be part of a show that honors excellence in the medium to which I have devoted so much of my career,” Grazer said of his appointment. “Don is a legend, and I am excited to work with him.”
It should be a pretty amicable change of the guard on all fronts: Grazer and Ratner worked closely together on the recently released “Tower Heist,” so the handoff feels natural externally and, one imagines, internally. There’s also talk that with Grazer locked and loaded, perhaps Murphy will reconsider his decision to leave the Oscars.
Then again, who knows—perhaps now’s the perfect time for the Muppets to step in and save the day after all!
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