Hanks was AMPAS’s first choice for President, search is on for telecast talent

Posted by · 3:47 pm · August 22nd, 2009

Tom HanksI stumbled onto this item over at Deadline Hollywood Daily earlier this afternoon.  Apparently Tom Hanks, who was elected First Vice-President of the Academy earlier this week, was the group’s first choice for the top spot.  In fact, Tom Sherak, who was ultimately elected president, is the one who nominated Hanks in the first place.

Here’s what Nikki Finke dug up:

Sherak…thought Hanks could be a “Gregory Peck-type” AMPAS leader. But insiders tell me Hanks declined, saying he “didn’t feel he could put the time in”. So his name was withdrawn, and that’s when Sherak got the gig. At least it’s comforting to know that AMPAS’ and Sherak’s heads were in the right place by wanting an actor instead of two back-to-back studio shills.

Finke goes on to note that last year’s telecast producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon have told the Academy, which wanted them back on this year, that they won’t be available.  The group now wants someone with similar motion picture and theatrical experience, and the search is also on for another Hugh Jackman type for emcee.

The powers that be are reading, so here’s your opportunity: Who should the Academy tap as producer, director and/or host of the 82nd annual Academy Awards?

One last note: Finke is hearing that Imagine production company head Brian Grazer is near the top of a list of potential Thalberg Award winners. The producers’ honor hasn’t been handed out since 2001. David Poland,on the other hand, says he expects Alan Ladd Jr. or John Calley, or both, to get the award (which isn’t that much of a stretch considering both were under heavy consideration for same last year before Jerry Lewis’s Jean Hersholt Humaniatrian Award designation was pushed through).

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25 responses so far

  • 1 8-22-2009 at 4:17 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Justin Timberlake to host.

  • 2 8-22-2009 at 4:22 pm

    Andrew Webb said...

    I’d give Jackman another go at hosting, but I’d also like to see Neil Patrick Harris do the Oscars. His Tony hosting was great and he’s hosting the Emmys next month. Very charismatic, very quick on his feet, can do the song and dance stuff should they go that way again, and it’ll probably get more younger people watching too.

  • 3 8-22-2009 at 4:22 pm

    Vito said...

    Kevin Spacey hosting please. There was that rumor some months back, and I thought that was the greatest idea I’ve ever heard.

  • 4 8-22-2009 at 4:23 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    But not a movie guy, Andrew, so forget about it.

  • 5 8-22-2009 at 4:36 pm

    Andrew Webb said...

    What about Jon Stewart? A Harold and Kumar movie must count at least as much as Death to Smoochy.

    Also I would hardly count Ellen Degeneris as a movie person either.

  • 6 8-22-2009 at 4:37 pm

    Aoife said...

    Maybe Ricky Gervais will get it this time. That would be an interesting choice. He’s definitely not a Hugh Jackman type though…

  • 7 8-22-2009 at 4:40 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    He’s much older than Hugh Jackman, but wouldn’t Christopher Walken be an interesting choice? I mean, that man can dance like nobody’s business.

  • 8 8-22-2009 at 4:41 pm

    Matt T said...

    I think Jackman was great, and a fun direction to turn the show into (the singing and dancing was cool). Justin Timberlake is very funny and a great singer and dancer, as well as being a big name to keep people interested in the ceremony. I think he’d be an excellent choice.

  • 9 8-22-2009 at 5:36 pm

    Vito said...

    Please not Timberlake. He may fancy himself an actor, but he’s not. Sure, he made a couple funny appearences on SNL, but he’s dreadful in everything else. I’d rather a TV actor, than a musician.

  • 10 8-22-2009 at 5:37 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have an ACTRESS

  • 11 8-22-2009 at 5:40 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    An actress hosting the Oscars? I don’t know. I think Annette Bening, but she most likely won’t be up for that…she’s not really comedic…

    OS. What exactly is the president in charge of?

  • 12 8-22-2009 at 6:01 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Um, are you talking to yourself, Encore?

  • 13 8-22-2009 at 6:04 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    “Sure, he made a couple funny appearences on SNL, but he’s dreadful in everything else.”

    But isn’t that really all an actor would need to be a good host? He’s not doing a sustained performance or a dramatic turn here. All Timberlake would have to do is perform a few amusing short bits (similar to SNL) and introduce presenters.

  • 14 8-22-2009 at 6:10 pm

    Wade said...


    Jon Stewart hosted in 2005. It wasn’t that great.

  • 15 8-22-2009 at 6:12 pm

    Wade said...

    I vote for George Clooney. It would be the equivalent of Dean Martin hosting in the ’60s.

    Or, just to piss people off, Diablo Cody.

  • 16 8-22-2009 at 6:47 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    No Robert it’s a continuation of one comment, mistake. God, reading it now I do sound like a psycho.

  • 17 8-22-2009 at 7:19 pm

    Vito said...

    Hamer: My main point is that he has no place at the Oscars. He’s a musician first and foremost. There are plenty of hilarious film actors that would be much better hosts.

  • 18 8-22-2009 at 7:22 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Webb: You just highlighted two of the worst Oscar hosts ever (ratings wise).

  • 19 8-22-2009 at 7:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Vito: It wasn’t a rumor. It was actually my pick when we speculated on this last year:


    He wasn’t considered too carefully by the producers, though. The name came up, but they passed over it quickly — that’s not to say this year’s producers will do the same, however.

  • 20 8-22-2009 at 7:25 pm

    Vito said...

    Oh, that’s right. Well, either way it’s fantastic idea.

  • 21 8-22-2009 at 7:52 pm

    Glenn said...

    Timberlake would be a disaster.

    I wish they’d give Jackman another go. I mean, they’ll never get anywhere if they just keep doing this revolving door or hosts. Was Billy Crystal a 10/10 effort on his first go?

  • 22 8-22-2009 at 7:59 pm

    Georgie said...

    I think Jackman did great, and I’d like to see him do it again. His Tony-hosting stint are awesome.
    The best part of his opening monologue/song was discovering that Anne Hathaway could sing, though.

    I’ll agree with the actress hosting the Oscars sentiment. Just not sure who.

  • 23 8-22-2009 at 10:58 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I think Jeff Wells should be the host and rant about the stupidity of the audience.

  • 24 8-23-2009 at 12:29 am

    Eliez said...

    How about Meryl Streep? Best actress working today, and with so much charisma. Turned sixty a couple of months ago.

  • 25 8-23-2009 at 3:33 pm

    voland said...

    I would love to see Jim Carrey hosting.