Producer Brian Grazer Frontrunner to Replace Brett Ratner as Oscars Producer [Updated]

     November 9, 2011

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With producer Brett Ratner and now host Eddie Murphy exiting the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, Academy president Tom Sherak is rushing to get a new producer in place.  According to THR, Sherak’s top choice is producer Brian Grazer, a Hollywood veteran who has the hair of an anime character and an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind. (He was also Ratner’s date to the Emmys.)  The story is developing, but I can see Grazer as a reasonable (and more importantly, safe) choice to co-produce with the previously announced Don Mischer.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if Sherak is also considering previous Oscar producers Adam Shankman or Bill CondonGil Cates would’ve been the obvious choice since he produced the show 14 times between 1990 and 2008, but he passed away less than two weeks ago.

Expect a producer to be named within the next 48 – 72 hours, and the announcement of a new host within the next week or so.  The 84th Academy Awards will take place on February 26, 2012.  Seriously, Neil Patrick Harris should host.  He killed at the Tonys and the Emmys.  I’ve heard The Muppets as a suggestion and I think that would be great, although it would be an interesting challenge to build the entire set around hiding the muppeteers or at least always shooting around them.

[Update: The Academy officially announced Grazer will produce the show.  Hit the jump for the press release.]

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BRIAN GRAZER TO PRODUCE 84TH ACADEMY AWARDS® WITH DON MISCHER, AIRING FEBRUARY 26, 2012 on THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK

Academy President Tom Sherak announced today that Academy Award®-winner Brian Grazer will join Don Mischer as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards. This will be the first time Grazer has produced the Oscar® telecast.

“Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who, over the past 25 years, has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work,” said Sherak. “He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscars®.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Brian Grazer as my partner and that we will be collaborating to produce an outstanding show,” echoed 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,” said Grazer. “Don is a legend, and I am excited to work with him.”

“I too am delighted that Brian will join Don in producing the Academy Awards, and I am looking forward to our producers delivering the movie event of the year,” commented Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.

Grazer has earned four Academy Award nominations. He won a Best Picture Oscar in 2001 for “A Beautiful Mind.” In 1984 he was nominated in the writing category for “Splash,” and he received Best Picture nominations in 1995 and 2008 for “Apollo 13” and “Frost/Nixon,” respectively. His other film credits include “Spies Like Us,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Liar Liar,” “8 Mile” and “Cinderella

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

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