You had to see this one coming — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has set their sights on standup comedian and film star Kevin Hart to host the 91st Academy Awards. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy has had conversations with Hart to host the 2019 Oscars, which would mark the comedic actor’s first time hosting the event. First-time producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss are overseeing the show, with Gigliotti as producing and Weiss directing and co-producing.
The new team faces significant pressure to post some good numbers after the previous two years (hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd) produced declining ratings, with a record-low 26.5 million viewers tuning in for March’s broadcast. The pressure to perform has already had some interesting influence on the Academy, which proposed a new “popular” Oscar award back in August, only to put a pin in the idea a month later after facing significant backlash. The Academy has also promised to cap this year’s show at three hours and not a minute more.
Hart is no stranger to taking the stage as a comedian, and he hasn’t been shy about his desire to tackle the prestigious awards show as the next notch in his career belt. Back in 2015, he told the folks on ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, “That would be a major accomplishment. With what I’ve done and the progress I’ve made in my career, that’s definitely the next major step, I feel, for a comedian.” Last year, he repeated that sentiment, telling Variety, ““It would be something I would definitely do just to say I did it in my career… It would be great to say I had that moment.” Hart previously hosted the MTV Movie Awards alongside his Central Intelligence and Jumanji co-star Dwayne Johnson. He’s a natural fit for the gig, with boundless energy, good command of a crowd and willingness to poke fun at himself, so if the deal closes and the writing is up to snuff this could definitely be a fun year to watch.
Hart recently appeared in Night School alongside Tiffany Haddish, which posted the biggest opening weekend for a comedy in 2018.
UPDATE: Hart confirmed that he will indeed host the 2019 Oscars with an Instagram post, read hist statement below:
View this post on Instagram
For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time….I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ….now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars
For more on the 2019 Oscar race check out our recent coverage in the links below.