James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host Oscars

Glenn Harris/PR Photos; Solarpix/PR Photos

Actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway will cohost this season’s Oscar ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer have decided to continue the two-host trend from last year’s show, when Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin shared emceeing duties. But they clearly seem to be courting a different generation: Franco and Hathaway’s combined age (60) is less than Steve Martin’s.

I applaud Cohen, Mischer, and AMPAS for thinking outside the box and not going with a predictable choice. Both Franco and Hathaway are sharp and funny, and hosting the Oscars should allow them to show off different sides of their personalities. The only awkwardness could stem from the fact that Franco is a surefire Best Actor contender for his performance in 127 Hours, while after the mixed critical and commercial reaction to Love & Other Drugs, Hathaway is looking more and more like a long shot at best. Or wait…do we now have a good kick-off topic for their hosting bits?

Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar news and predictions throughout the awards season.


Comments (189 total) Add your comment
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  • Rock Golf

    Wow. Franco hosting the Oscars. This could add a whole new meaning to “127 Hours”.

    • Larry David

      Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the LAMEST and most IDIOTIC joke in the history of jokes. Rock Golf should be put on boat and exiled to an island that no one can find, so he could live there with his LAME jokes. And I know a thing or two about lame jokes, I worked with Jerry Seinfeld.

    • Larry David

      Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the LAMEST and most IDIOTIC joke in the history of jokes. Rock Golf should be put on boat and exiled to an island that no one can find, so he could live there with his LAME jokes. And I know a thing or two about lame jokes, I worked with Jerry Seinfeld!

    • Larry David

      Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the LAMEST and most IDIOTIC joke in the history of jokes. Rock Golf should be put on boat and exiled to an island that no one can find, so he could live there with his LAME jokes. And I know a thing or two about lame jokes because I worked with Jerry Seinfeld.

      • Rock Golf

        Once was enough, Larry. Curb your disenthusiasm.

      • Holla

        I thought Rock’s first joke was funny, but the second was hilarious. Larry can apply his stupid comment to his own (triple) posting.

      • underfor5

        Kudos, Rock.

      • AD

        Well played, Rock, well played!

      • Meredith

        Excellent job Rock. On the 2nd one that is.

    • Rush

      Franco looks constipated when he smiles.

      • Shave

        and he looks like a pedophile when he ‘mustaches’

      • Pdb Brown

        Franco is the hottest best actor on the scene comprable to Johnny Depp and Gerard Butler. Where have you been.

    • BG 17

      C’mon, to be first and make a crack at the infamously overlong tedium that the Oscars have become – that deserves some credit. A tip o’ the hat to Rock Golf…

    • Lauren

      Honestly, if Franco decides to be “serious James” that night, we’re all in for a lonnnnng night. He’s got a “Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman-joke” side to him. IE: monosyllabic and BORING. Let’s just hope the amnesiac Harry from Spiderman is the Franco to show up.

    • Tarc

      That was lame. They should try courting an even younger audience by having Zach Efron and Lindsay Lohan host.

      • Japanese Japanese HIROSHI

        Tarc, IMO, Oscars are possibly looking to draw more of the viewers in their early-20s to late30s with Hathaway and Franco. Efron may be good for teens and early 20s (only?). Lohan – in response to your comment – seems unreliable, given her recent history . . . , to begin-with. Just say’n. (I enjoy watching her and the co-stars in Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, though.)

    • Kyle

      This is a WEIRD choice, but kudos to the Academy for stepping outside the box and taking a risk. I genuinely hope it works.

    • kellybelly

      Ugg.
      This could go horribly, horribly wrong. Trying to court the young vote? How about that E-Trade Baby?
      I think they should court “the funny” vote.
      Actors will be more concerned with how they look, how they will appear to their peers. Comedians are in a different category, and thus don’t have to cater. So, no jokes at other actors expense. Unless they’re good friends of these two I suppose.
      Isn’t this why the Academy went with Comedians in the first place? Cause Actors made bad hosts…
      Comedians are used to being in front of people, just being themselves. Actors need lines. Ugg. I am filled with trepidation.

      • AD

        Totally agree; well said; nothing to add.

      • Ryan

        Billy Crystal is still The Oscar Host

      • stephanie

        Agree – Jim Gaffigan and Zack Galifinakis. Everyone will mess up their names but they would be HILARIOUS.

    • Liz Lemon

      RANDOM! Not excited for this at all.

  • Jose

    *Swonns*

    • @Jose

      I’m guessing you mean “swoons”? (Although it shouldn’t just be Bjork that gets to wear a swan to an awards show)

  • keith

    Hmm. Interesting. I like both actors. Not sure what I think about it. I wasn’t a fan of last year’s show, so it can’t be worst than that, for me anyway.

    • TorontoTom

      Last year was THE WORST EVER telecast of the Oscars. I don’t know how it could be any worse so it might work out for Franco & Hathaway. Both are pretty charming. Could be cool.

    • filmboymichael

      agreed….i thought last year’s broadcast was one of the worst i have seen in eons….but, I’m hopefull that this duo can be a shot in the arm for us at home viewers…Hathaway, especially is talent personified and i’m intrigued by the choice of franco…just glad that Adam Shankman won’t be anywhere near this broadcast….

  • Sarah

    Kudos to the Academy for this decision. Looks like I will be watching this year’s ceremony.

    • graeme

      I agree. My first reaction was “whoa”. It’s a bold move, but they are the perfect choices for offbeat, classy, charming, and young hosts.

    • LOL

      Anne Hathaway has been very good both times on SNL. She’s got the comic timing and the ability to sell even bad jokes. She’ll be able to deliver the lame Oscar jokes. Franco will have to keep up with her. Should be interesting. Also, she can easily handle any musical numbers.

      • amyc

        If you want to see how funny James Franco can be, check him out on Funnyordie.com. I don’t think he will have to “keep up.”

  • Jose

    *Swoons*

    • Mon

      really, try to keep up Jose. Beacause James is WAY funnier and clever than Anne.

  • HM

    Both amazing choices.

    • mary q contrary

      Totally agree. Franco is one of my favorite performers PERIOD, and Anne Hathaway is fast becoming a favorite as well. Plus, the show this year is on my birthday. As long as they don’t screw it up royally, this will probably end up being my favorite Academy Awards EVER.

    • Meier

      You know who would have been great, not nominated, AND within reason? Timberlake.

      • sassyfras

        genius

      • mscisluv

        Anne Hathaway and Justin Timberlake would have been absolutely incredible. I like Franco as an actor, but I’m not sure he can pull off hosting, and if he’s a nominee, I’d prefer that he wasn’t.

      • jennifer

        Amazing!

  • Tim Lade

    Great article as always Mr. Karger.

  • Rick

    I like them both, but I was hoping for Jimmy Fallon. He was a great Emmys host this year.

    • coco

      But Fallon has no connection to movies.

      • Felix

        That’s not true! He was in Taxi with Queen Latifah!

        …actually, you’re right. No connection to movies.

      • Dan

        Fever Pitch is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen.. I Think that was a movie.

      • Jerry

        And Johnny Carson did?

  • Rolo Tomasi

    Trying to pull in a younger audience. I get it.

    • Keyser Soze

      Plus Anne Hathaway might sing again!

      • SaraS

        I love her singing voice, but for some reason when she talks I want to change the channel. Anne H. is reeeeally annoying.
        As long as Franco doesn’t act high he should be ok.

  • jasmine

    omg this is going to be amazing

  • amber

    yes.

  • whatevs

    I guess this means the writing quality won’t be up to par. I feel like they get lazy when they’re writing for people who aren’t comics or something. Maybe it’s just me.

  • Zo

    I thought this was a joke… WTFF? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
    I like them both (to an extent) but NOOOOOOOOOOO….

    • Alan

      Yeah but remember from last year (or was it the year before?), Anne Hathaway can sing and dance pretty well, so there’s your opening number. This is clearly an effort to bring in the younger 18-49 viewers. Women like Hathaway and she’s easy on the eyes for men; and who doesnt love James Franco? It’s a nice idea, but I agree that I dont like it when hosts win awards at Awards Shows. It’s awkward.

      • Dan

        When Hugh Jackman hosted a couple years ago he pulled Anne onto the stage for a “spontaneous but clearly staged” song-and-dance number. It was a highlight of the night. Anne is a great choice, but not so sure about James Franco. He always looks like he needs a shower and I’ve never found him to be funny. If the writers are on their game (I’m looking at you Bruce Vilanch) then hopefully it’ll be a good show with current humor. Just don’t try to make these two out to be comedians with tired old jokes ala Johnny Carson’s era.

      • LOL

        Franco isn’t going to win. Colin Firth has the Oscar in the bag.

      • Sally

        Too soon to say if Colin Firth has the Oscar in the bag. Depends on how the movies and actors are publicized. James is getting great buzz for his work on 127 hours. He might very well win.

      • John

        I’m very worried that the Academy will think like you – nominated host will be awkward – and avoid the problem simply by not nominating Franco. Very unfair, but a real possibility.

      • kimmy

        i think James will still get the nom, but Colin Firth has paid his dues and should be a lock for the win. everything he does is amazing.

  • Cate

    Well, that’s….unexpected.

    • Grace

      I agree. I absolutely LOVE Anne and she and Franco made sense when I thought this meant they were hosting the Oscar NOMINATION show. But the actual Oscars? Well…more power to ‘em! She was great on SNL.

  • bruno

    wow…errr…interesting choices. not a combo i’d ever think of. yah, both can be funny, but neither of them are, like, OLD…oscar, you big surprise you…

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