The American Film Market, Santa Monica California
Jennifer Todd, left, and Michael De Luca
UPDATED, 9:37 AM: ABC and the Academy just confirmed our report from last night that Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd will produce the 2017 Oscars. Next up: finding a host. “What a talented team,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “Mike and Jennifer have a great working relationship and a tremendous love and respect
for the film, and will surely draw from their vast experience to create an exceptional and unforgettable event for movie fans everywhere.”
Chris Rock did well, but it's hard to host the Oscars twice in a row. Here are five promising candidates for next year. Hosting the Oscars is a tough gig, requiring months of preparation for a one-night performance that usually gets reviewed poorly because the show runs long or Crash wins the best picture or James Franco decides to turn hosting into a performance-art piece. Perhaps that's why the list of people who have hosted solo in consecutive years is Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and Billy Crystal. So even though Chris Rock received pretty darn good reviews for hosting the 88th Academy Awards under difficult and unique circumstances, it's doubtful he'll be back in 2017.
Rock tried to anoint his own successor in Kevin Hart, who then trotted out his own audition reel as a presenter, but the Academy tends to prefer hosts who play hard-to-get. Neil Patrick Harris, for example, hosted every other award show ever created before he got a crack at the Oscars, and that went forgettable.
So who are some good contenders?
Louis C.K.: Think of all the time and effort the Academy could save by letting Louis C.K. write, direct, produce and edit the Oscars all by himself. Heck, they wouldn't even need to announce the telecast, you could just turn on ABC one Sunday night and there it'd be, or maybe he could just post the Oscars telecast on his website and charge anybody who cares $5 to download it. Everybody's favorite multi-hyphenate was funny and honorable in presenting documentary short on this year's show and he'd probably be funny as a host, but would he want to be tied down to an L.A.-based commitment like this? And would the Academy want to open itself up to embarrassment for having snubbed Pootie Tang?
Tina Fey with Almost Anybody: For some reason, we like the idea of Tina Fey paired with other people, and you don't hear people suggest she do things solo. It's unclear why that is. If you pair Fey with Poehler, then the Oscars will just feel like the Golden Globes, which is why you don't see anybody seriously suggesting Ricky Gervais. But Fey and Steve Carell are always funny together. Or they're usually funny together. Actually, they weren't especially funny together this year, so maybe not.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: He's an old-fashioned showman in the Neil Patrick Harris/Hugh Jackman vein, but he's also tapped into that millennial thing everybody wants to be a part of, so like Louis C.K. he'd probably add a DIY vibe to the show, which couldn't hurt. By tapping into his HitRECord community, this could be the first crowdsourced Oscars.
Jacob Tremblay: Look, everybody basically wanted him to be in every shot this year, so we might as well formalize it and let him host next year. If you don't think he could handle it alone, pair him with BB-8. Or, better yet, pair him with Kevin Hart. The short jokes literally write themselves.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele: Keanu probably won't be up for any Oscars next year, but if the trailers and posters are any indications, that will be the sham to end all shams. So in lieu of that, bring out Key & Peele as Oscars hosts and let the Keanu kitten appear in the opening monologue. Key & Peele are versatile, hilarious, they'll no longer carry the stench of being merely TV plebes and you know that a surprise appearance by newly departed President Obama, interrupting a Luther the Anger Translator skit, would bring down the house.
UPDATED – SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
Is Denzel Washington about to join the ranks of Jack Nicholson with his third
acting Oscar? Casey Affleck can surely give him a run for his money with
“Manchester by the Sea” while Tom Hanks hopes to garner his first nomination
in 16 years. Andrew Garfield is double trouble with “Silence” and “Hacksaw
Ridge” while Ryan Gosling tries to get his long overdue second nomination
for “La La Land.” Same goes for Jake Gyllenhaal for “Nocturnal Animals.”
As a category whole, there doesn’t seem to be a deep well of competition.
Just a 50,000-foot observation.
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE
Denzel Washington – “Fences”
Casey Affleck – “Manchester by the Sea“
Ryan Gosling – “La La Land“
Tom Hanks – “Sully“
Joel Edgerton – “Loving“
THE NEXT FIVE
Andrew Garfield – “Silence”**
Jake Gyllenhaal – “Nocturnal Animals“
Michael Keaton – “The Founder”
Miles Teller – “Bleed for This“
Joe Alwyn – “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”
OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS
Dev Patel – “Lion“*
Will Smith – “Collateral Beauty”
Matthew McConaughey – “Gold”
Nate Parker – “The Birth of a Nation”
Brad Pitt – “Allied”
Viggo Mortensen – “Captain Fantastic“
Adam Driver – “Paterson”
Michael Fassbender – “The Light Between Oceans“
Ethan Hawke – “Born to be Blue”
Don Cheadle – “Miles Ahead“
ALSO IN CONTENTION
Dave Johns – “I, Daniel Blake“
Colin Farrell – “The Lobster“
Chris Pratt – “Passengers”
Cliff Curtis – “The Dark Horse”
Logan Lerman – “Indignation“
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – “Snowden”
Lewis MacDougall – “A Monster Calls”
Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge“
Chris Pine – “Hell or High Water“
Alden Ehrenreich – “Rules Don’t Apply”
Mark Wahlberg – “Patriots Day”
Gary Oldman – “The Space Between Us”
Peter Simonischek – “Toni Erdmann“
Parker Sawyers – “Southside with You”
Shahab Hosseini – “The Salesman”
Josh Brolin – “Hail, Caesar!“
Ben Affleck – “The Accountant”
Jake Gyllenhaal – “Demolition“
Michael Shannon – “Midnight Special“
Jesse Plemons – “Other People”
UNRANKED CONTENDERS IN PLAY
Ben Affleck – “Live By Night”**
Christian Bale – “The Promise”**
Gael Garcia Bernal – “Desierto”
Bryan Cranston – “Wakefield”**
Brendan Gleeson – “Alone in Berlin”**
Brendan Gleeson – “Trespass Against Us”**
Tom Hiddleston – “I Saw the Light“
Jonah Hill – “War Dogs”
Charlie Hunnam – “The Lost City of Z”**
Shia LeBeouf – “American Honey”
Ben Mendelsohn – “Una”**
David Oyelowo – “A United Kingdom”**
Edgar Ramirez – “Hands of Stone”
Ryan Reynolds – “Deadpool“
Mark Wahlberg – “Deepwater Horizon”
Lucas Zumann – “20th Century Women”