How Brett Ratner will change the Oscars: 'It entails comedy'


Image Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Today’s news that filmmaker Brett Ratner will co-produce next year’s Academy Awards ceremony alongside returning producer Don Mischer was certainly unexpected. Ratner and Mischer got on the phone to discuss how the pairing came about and what we might expect from their telecast.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Brett, did you petition the Academy for this gig or did they come to you?
BRETT RATNER: Are you kidding? I can’t believe they even let me in the building. I got a call from [Academy president] Tom Sherak and [CEO] Dawn Hudson. They said, “Can you talk to us about the Oscars?” And I just started rattling off what I thought.
DON MISCHER: They said to me, “Would you go meet with Brett Ratner?” Of course I knew who he was. His enthusiasm was just overwhelming, and his knowledge of film history and the tradition of film. I just said, “It would really be fun to work with this guy.” 

In the announcement, Dawn Hudson said you had “a really smart and fresh take for the show.” What did she mean?
BR: Oh God, I just got hired! You’ve got to give me a little bit of time. But I can tell you it entails comedy. The key to this show is making it funny. But respecting the pedigree and the old Hollywood history. Comedy is what I do. I know how to entertain people. I want to laugh when I’m watching a show like this. But I’m not looking to come in and shake it up and reinvent it. I can’t change the Academy; I can just do a great show.

Don, this year’s show was not well received by most critics. What lessons did you learn?
DM: Every time I do anything, whether it’s an Olympics ceremony or a Springsteen concert, I never walk away from a project without taking lessons from it. We always tend to focus on the things that didn’t work. That’s just part of what we do.

You guys must already be thinking about whom you’ll ask to host. Do you already have someone in mind?
BR: Honestly, we haven’t even talked about it. We walked in this morning, we shook hands and said “Let’s do this.” We didn’t even get to that. I’m going to put together my list and we’ll have a debate about it for sure.

Some people think Oprah Winfrey should host, particularly since she’s already receiving an honorary award this year.
BR: That would be weird. Hosting and getting an award? Then we can broadcast it on the O network.

In the last three years, some of the industry’s top gay filmmakers — Bill Condon, Laurence Mark, Adam Shankman, and Bruce Cohen — all spearheaded the Oscars telecast. What business do two straight guys have producing the gay Super Bowl?
BR: Can you believe it? What’s that called, when you’re a straight guy who’s…

BR: I’m a metrosexual. Or I’m going to become one.

Read more:
Brett Ratner and Don Mischer to produce Oscar telecast
Oprah’s honorary Oscar: Does she deserve it?
The Academy’s new Best Picture rule: How it will change the prediction period

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
  • not bad

    i actually think this will turn out really well…

  • Darrin

    Great, does this mean Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are going to be co-hosting the awards next year?

  • Ben

    Great, one more thing for him to ruin (a list that already includes the X-men and Hannibal Lecter franchises)

    • deedeedragons

      I actually think Red Dragon is pretty good (Better than Hannibal) but it has nothing to do with Ratner, the cast is brilliant.

    • not bad

      unbunch your panties immediately. yes, x3 sucked, but he did not ruin red dragon. it was fine.

      • Smurfin’

        Ratner may not be the most talented man in Hollywood, but he is VERY Hollywood himself… I think that will translate very well. It’s obvious he’s going to top last year and anything is better than Shankman’s cheap camera work (that guy should stick to dancing… alone in his room). So, excellent choice Academy, you’ve managed to pick a very safe choice. One more thing – Ratner and Oprah won’t mix, you can tell just by reading this… I hope the Academy doesn’t press it. They should have the cast of SNL run it… or… the Second City… or… Gov. Terminator… or Conan vs. Leno all night long.

  • Chelsea

    This is awful news. The guy should’ve been run out of Hollywood for X3 alone.

  • Jacob

    Ban Bruce Vilanch. That’s all I ask.

    • TorontoTom

      I posted a rant about how lame Bruce Vilanch is and how they need to get rid of him before this show ever gets batter. And, whatdoyaknow, my posting has been deleted overnight! Interesting…

  • PNK

    Who’s the host? It all rides on that…

  • alan of montreal

    ick. All will be forgiven if he gets Craig Ferguson to host.

    • alan of montreal

      or Cat Deeley

      • Meg

        Let’s start a petition for Cat Deeley.

  • HangarOne

    Adding comedy? almost every telecast is full of jokes from hosts and presenters thanks to head writer Bruce Vilanch.

    I think either Ben Stiller or Eddie Murphy will host.

  • Oscar

    It’s my show! I want this guy and this guy only to host: Billy Crystal

  • Ruby

    He fails for producing the crap know as X3 but also wins for producing my favorite Hannibal Lector film, Red Dragon. It really just depends who they get to host. No to Oprah. Maybe Craig Ferguson?

  • michael

    OH, so this isn’t a joke? I thought when I read he was producing the Oscars, that it was a joke. How sad that it isn’t. This is going to be worse than the terrible movies he makes…..

  • George

    I believe in Brett , i think he will put on a performance never seen before

  • michi

    How how an array of comedic actors as an ensemble of co-hosts, kind of like his cast in the upcoming “Tower Heist”?. This way if one sucks, the others still have possiblities.

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