Hugh Jackman To Host The Oscars

Wolverine star takes centre stage

It’s out with the comedy monologues, in with the berserker rages after Hugh Jackman was today confirmed as the host of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony.

Yes, you read that right. Hugh Jackman – Wolverine himself – will follow in the footsteps of Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Bob Hope, Jon Stewart et al when he presents the Oscars on February 22.

The decision is not as leftfield as it first appears – Jackman hosted the Tony Awards in 2005, and by all accounts did a fantastic job, even bagging a Tony nomination for it the following year.

But by hiring an actor – even a renowned song-and-dance man like Jackman – the Academy has signalled its intent to move in a different direction, with new producers, set designer and music director all on board already.

Jackman, it is understood, had been slightly reluctant to commit to the job until his role was clearly defined. It’s understood that his hiring may signal an end to the traditional comedy monologue that kicks off the show, but whether producers replace that with a Jackman staple – the removal of the shirt – remains to be seen.

Our take on it? Well, while we’re sorry to see that Jon Stewart (or our personal favourite for the job, Stephen Colbert) won’t be presenting, we’re big fans of Jackman here at Empire. He’s charismatic, quick on his feet, and brings a real sense of megawatt stardom to a show that has perhaps seen its star dim somewhat in recent years.

And there’s always the possibility that he’ll cut short rambling winners’ speeches by popping his claws and opening a can of whup-ass…

So, readers, thoughts? Has the Academy made the right choice, or have they recklessly endangered the lives of all the nominees?