After Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the 2019 Oscars, ABC has yet to announce a replacement host for the Academy Awards ceremony. There have been plenty of rumors and suggestions for just who should step in to take over the hosting duties, but a new contender has entered the ring today: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. After a Twitter user suggested that the people’s champion would be the perfect host for the Hollywood awards shindig, Johnson responded by saying he was actually the first choice for the task but had to pass due to scheduling complications with the Jumanji sequel production.
Here are a few things you need to know for any of this story to make sense: Johnson is as marketing-minded and brand-savvy as he is charismatic on and off screen. Though genuine and very open about his personal life on his myriad social media platforms, he’s also a platinum-level promoter and does not miss any opportunity to remind his fans of his upcoming projects. That’s just smart business, and when you’re as charming as The Rock, people will cut you a lot of slack for it. The other thing to keep in mind is that Johnson and Hart, co-stars in both Jumanji and Central Intelligence, have a friendly rivalry going on in the public eye, usually over social media. So could this response be a clever marketing move with an additional jab at Hart, or is there some truth to it?
Here’s the Tweet so you can judge for yourself:
Ah mahalo dude, I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever. We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji. Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road https://t.co/eiiMuBNOzb
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 6, 2019
He even responded to write-ups about the above Tweet with another jab:
thank ya dude ‘preciate the luv. There’s a few of us ol’ Hollywood dawgs that ain’t that bad
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 7, 2019
So let’s say that this first Tweet is 100% accurate. Since the Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, February 24th, that would mean that Johnson’s Jumanji sequel shooting schedule is going to be keeping him occupied at least through the end of the month. The untitled Sony picture recently announced the majority of its core cast which stars Johnson and Hart along with returning players Karen Gillan and Jack Black as the game’s avatar characters and Ser’Darius Blain, Alex Wolff, Madison Iseman, and Morgan Turner as the teen gamers, with Nick Jonas recently confirmed to return as well. Additionally, Jake Kasdan‘s sequel will bring some new additions to the jungle, including Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, and Danny Glover. Sounds like a party, but for the Oscars, missing out on Johnson as a host is a pity.