It’s been a busy couple of days over at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, hasn’t it? First the AMPAS has suffered – well, “suffered” – the loss of its hip young Oscars producer Brett Ratner after he decided it would be a good idea to conduct interviews for Tower Heist in the manner of a casual homophobe who can’t shut up about his own virility. Then Eddie Murphy decided to ditch his hosting gig because apparently he can’t imagine working on the show without the visionary genius of Brett Ratner to back him up… even though “Oscar Host” is the most exciting role the comedian has accepted since 1984.
As you can imagine, the folks over at the Academy are desperately trying to replace Ratner and Murphy as soon as possible. Yes, yes, Billy Crystal would still probably do it, but that’s not good enough for the Oscars these days. Noooo… They want to be “hip” and “exciting” and “edgy” now. Well, I’m the king of hip and exciting and edgy (hell, I’ve got two hips!) so here are my picks for the top five producers and hosts the Academy should pick replace the recently fallen.
[UPDATE: It didn't take long. Brian Grazer has been officially announced as the new producer of this year's Oscar telecast, making our producer suggestions more academic than anything. Our picks for potential hosts, below, still stand. In fact, our #1 pick is actually being rumored as a real possibility. Keep your fingers crossed, folks!]
TOP FIVE PRODUCERS
5. OREN PELI
The creator and producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, respectively, knows how to make movies fast and cheap. Traditionalists might sneer at his decision to film the entire ceremony on his iPhone, but what do they know? They’re old. Peli will get the ball rolling quickly, and shock the world by finishing the entire telecast before the nominations are even announced on January 24th, 2012.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: The Oscars go off without a hitch, but the biggest story comes the day afterwards, when Peli’s Oscar host is announced missing and presumed dead.
4. JULIE TAYMOR
The ousted director of the infamous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark gets her revenge by turning the Oscars into an over-the-top pageant of epic proportions. Every single presenter appears in a large puppet costume – of themselves, curiously enough – and is accompanied by a Greek chorus consisting of a dozen Whoopi Goldbergs.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield is forced at gunpoint to swing onto the stage from the back of the theater, crashes into the giant Oscar statue, and has to be hastily added to this year’s “In Memoriam” montage.
3. ZACK SNYDER
The director of 300 and the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel takes a break from his latest movie – the release has been delayed anyway – to bring his particular brand of crazy to the Academy Awards. Even the interpretative dance numbers are watchable this year, thanks to the new addition of speed-ramping and bare, brawny chests.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: In a bizarre ode to Sucker Punch, every single presenter is forced to lean sleepily back and forth before the show cuts to a clip of any kind. Is it really a tribute to the feature documentaries, or is it all in Daniel Day-Lewis’s head? Makes you think…
2. ROLAND EMMERICH
The director of Independence Day and 2012 made a bid for Oscar consideration himself this year with Anonymous, but since its best bet is a Costume Design nod this is the perfect opportunity for Emmerich to take the stage, and probably make it explode.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: The opening sketch this year finds Emmerich’s host at the center of a vast conspiracy to cover up who really wrote Bruce Vilanch’s jokes. Turns out it was Barack Obama all along, who used the Oscar telecast to subvert the Republican regime and… Man, Anonymous was kind of dumb, right?
1. TREY PARKER & MATT STONE
The creators of South Park and the smash Broadway hit The Book of Mormon probably wouldn’t have been the Academy’s first choice after they wore dresses to the 2000 Oscar ceremony, but that was before the Academy decided to put James Franco in a dress on stage at last year’s telecast. Parker and Stone have demonstrated exceeding wit and an affinity for the stagey mentality the show has come to embrace since it’s inception, and but it all boils down to one question: Do they want to attract young audiences or don’t they?
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: A musical ode to the cinematic oeuvre and public appearances of Brett Ratner, featuring Neil Patrick Harris as the all-singing, all-dancing director. Special guest appearance by Olivia Munn and the cast of Book of Mormon as the Shrimp Showgirls!
TOP FIVE HOSTS
5. ROBERT PATTINSON & KRISTEN STEWART
The most blatant attempt to snatch up young audiences since… well, ever… Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart from the Twilight series take the stage and make mooneyes at each other for three hours straight, occasionally stepping aside to let better actors steal the show for a few minutes at the time. Hey, it really will be just like Twilight!
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: Pattinson and Stewart stand at opposite ends of the stage, staring at each other longingly and then slowly approach each other. Five minutes later, they’re face-to-face and slowly move in, their mouths almost touching, when Pattinson – his eyes never leaving his co-host’s – says, “Here to present the award for Best Live-Action Short Subject: two time Oscar winner Jodie Foster… and Snooki.”
4. RYAN REYNOLDS
The star of Green Lantern and The Change-Up is a lot like Eddie Murphy: everyone knows who he is, everyone claims to like him, but they don’t actually care enough to make his movies successful. But he’s a charming, good-looking guy who could easily fill lulls in the telecast by taking his shirt off and liberally misting his ripped six pack.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: Reynolds plays the entire ceremony while wearing a bright green body suit covered in ping-pong balls, eventually quipping, “We’ll add the tuxedo in post.”
3. JUSTIN BIEBER
Because he’s not popular enough. America’s sweetheart – even though he’s Canadian – was discovered on YouTube three years ago and went on to headline hit concerts and even starred in the concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, sending his trademarked hairstyle flying into the audience through the magic of 3D. As a bonus, this year’s telecast can’t run long, since he’s still got a curfew after that whole “Mariah Yeater” thing.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: Recent Hollywood moms Natalie Portman, Mariah Carey, Kate Hudson, Celine Dion and Jennifer Garner all take to the stage in the middle of Bieber’s opening monologue. “We have to talk…”
2. ROMAN POLANSKI & MEL GIBSON
Stop your bitching. You’d watch it, wouldn’t you? Two of the most controversial figures in Hollywood, one a statutory rapist Holocaust survivor and the other a Catholic accused of anti-Semitism and misogyny, would be fascinating to watch together on-screen. Honestly, we just want to know what the hell they’d say to each other.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: Polanski, who hasn’t set foot on American soil in 33 years for fear of arrest, performs “Sweet Home Chicago” on stage while waving to the police officers waiting in the audience to slap on his bracelets after the show. (He escapes before the end of the telecast via a trap door in backstage.)
1. THE MUPPETS
We’ve had a lot of fun here today – that Roman Polanski thing is never happening, obviously – but we’re dead serious here. Jim Henson’s most popular creations are set for a comeback this month with Jason Segel and Amy Adams in The Muppets, and are about to prove to the world that they are, in fact, the best showmen in the business. It would be a nightmare to set the stage up to hide all the Muppeteers, but dude… It would be so worth it.
INEVITABLE HIGHLIGHT: A series of short films in which the Muppets cross over with all the biggest movie hits of the year, including Pigs in Space vs. The Green Lantern, Miss Piggy’s foul-mouthed cameo in Bridesmaids, Professor Honeydew and Beaker making death machines for The Red Skull, Statler and Waldorf replacing Alan Alda in Tower Heist and Professor X and Magneto approaching Gonzo and his chicken girlfriend Camilla to join X-Men: First Class. Their classic response: “Go cluck yourselves.”