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Hugh Jackman To Host The Oscars
Wolverine star takes centre stage

12 December 2008  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  |  Source:

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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? 

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Your Comments

This is GREAT news!!!!
Finally, someone worthy of replacing Billy Crystal! He was fantastic hosting the Tonys - check out clips on youtube. Welcome back camp musical opening number - we have missed thee :) More

Posted by sandramoc1 at 23:19 on 15 December 2008 | Report This Post

I just hope he's funny, but he doesn't write the I guess we’ll have to see! More

Posted by thunderclap at 17:09 on 15 December 2008 | Report This Post

Wolverine trailer goes live today folks! 10am EST. More

Posted by Karl Crutchley at 14:28 on 15 December 2008 | Report This Post

Should be Tina Fey! More

Posted by Seamie at 10:18 on 15 December 2008 | Report This Post

I saw him in the West End way back when he was doing Oklahoma! and he's a fantastic showman. At least no-one has to worry about him getting stagefright (unlike every celebrity who has ever hosted a music awards ceremony...) More

Posted by Dr Quinzel at 09:48 on 15 December 2008 | Report This Post

Good Choice
He was a fantastic showman in the Prestige, but will there be hundreds of dead Hugh Jackman clones underneath the oscars stage? More

Posted by Chips_Ahoy at 21:58 on 14 December 2008 | Report This Post

I think it's a brilliant choice! He'll bring something new and exciting to the awards, i can't wait! More

Posted by kateTMB at 21:23 on 14 December 2008 | Report This Post

Woop!! This is certainly moving in a different direction, but why not?? I for one will certainly be tuning in to see the ever-watchable (and utterly gorgeous) Hugh!! More

Posted by Monsoon Wedding at 19:33 on 14 December 2008 | Report This Post

I'm curbing my enthusiasm
An interesting choice, but yet again they've ignored surely the bona fide perfect man for the job - Larry David. More

Posted by rikkie at 18:31 on 14 December 2008 | Report This Post

he was great by all accounts when he did his one man show on broadway - the name of which escapes me More

Posted by fugaziuk at 14:21 on 14 December 2008 | Report This Post

Wolverine! Wolverine! should have been nominated for x-men 3 bub. More

Posted by willow1984 at 00:49 on 14 December 2008 | Report This Post

great idea
I think Hugh is a great choice - he's got all the attributes that you need to make a great host, especially for the Oscars which is ridiculously long. More

Posted by tysmuse at 22:15 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

great idea
I think Hugh is a great choice - he's got all the attributes that you need to make a great host, especially for the Oscars which is ridiculously long. More

Posted by tysmuse at 22:14 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

Anyone who's seen his "I wont dance" number from the Tony's should be jumping for joy. His presentation of that show was fantastic, and even those not caught on the singing bug should be able to see that he's a a fantastic presence and performer. Should be a brilliant way to go in a new direction. More

Posted by moosic at 19:57 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

Definitely an interesting choice, and a good one at that. Will be interesting to see how this turns out. More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 19:05 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

Definately a change
He's a good choice. He can deliver the jokes and if they don't do the usual comedy homage to the landmark movies of the year at the start he could take part in a song and dance version of it. After all he's an accomplished musical actor. Also you can imagine he'd talk to Jack Nicholson at the front in his trademark sunglasses using 'mate' a lot. If he gets annoyed he could go beserk on the audience and tear them to shreds with his adamantium claws. More

Posted by Taz69 at 17:56 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

This is the best decision they've made in ages.  Everytime I see Jackman being interviewed he's been charismatic, funny and geniunely likable.  He's certainly funnier that that guy they've had for the past couple of years. More

Posted by directorscut at 16:42 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

I've felt for a while that the film industry is getting cheapened by the whole celebrity thing and although funny, satirical hosts are part of the problem. I know it was a cheap fantasy, but old Hollywood seemed to be like a parallel dimension of glitz and glamour, and it would be nice to put the wall back up if only for a little while. Hugh Jackman is old Hollywood and exudes integrity. Has he even been in a tabloid? Right now, if that's the direction the Academy want, I can't think of anyon More

Posted by Najemikon at 14:58 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Hugh Jackman To Host The Oscars
Fantastic choice!! sly, really brilliant, I'll think he'll be fantastic (and that isn't just my inner fangirl speaking!). I hadn't even considered him myself, and now I can't think why. Probably because it looked for a while like ia e in the running for Oscars. It seems to have fallen back in that derby now, so it makes Hugh a perfect choice. He did a great job at the Tony's (as pointed out above, he hosted them three times), and as well as winning an Emmy for his hosting of the 2004 More

Posted by Acho at 14:49 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

He may not be the obvious choice, but I'll trust the opinions of the people who have seen him on the Tony Awards. Personally I think it's a stroke of genius. The Oscars is still months away and people are already talking about it, which I'm sure is what the academy wanted considering the progressively dwindling viewing figures. I'll still be watching it religiously. More

Posted by keaneye at 13:37 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

he's quite funny aswelll
there could be still comedy More

Posted by Hughezy at 11:22 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

BIG Hugh
Big. Charismatic. Sincere. Witty without being too comedic. And most importantly he's likable. I think Hugh could be an inspired - albeit a left field - choice as host, dispensing with the all out comedy shlock that sometimes cheapens the event. Also - and rather annoyingly - he seems to be pretty bloody good at everything he does and doesn't come across as being big headed about it either. Maybe that's what's so annoying, but you can't knock a guy for being... well, a really nice guy. He gets m More

Posted by PitchBlue at 10:56 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

Great Choice
If the Academy wants to take the ceremony in a new direction then Hugh is definitely the man for the job. He was great at the Tony Awards and can be funny when called upon. I think what the academy wll definitely get from Hugh is a sense of class and true showmanship. More

Posted by Calsterman at 02:12 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

Hugh Jackman was PHENOMENAL as a host to the Tony, he did it three years in a row, and was absolutely fantastic. I'm not worried, he's a real delight to watch on stage, has a fantastic sense of humor and is perfect for the role. Check out his Tony videos, even if it's singing and dancing a lot, you can totally figure out the great stage performer he is! +jackman+tony&search_type=&aq=f More

Posted by MarieMJS at 01:55 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

wtf i mean..theres Stephen Colbert Dave Chappelle Conan O Brien Jay Leno Jimmey Kimmel but HUGH JACKMAN, wat in the world, the oscars either change this decison or HUGH JACKMAN better do a helluva a job into hosting the oscars More

Posted by korea123 at 01:25 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

Empire can read my mind
As I'm spending my year abroad in Long Beach I was watching Stephen Colbert's show the other evening and I too was thinking how interesting it would be to see him host the Oscars, given the satirical type of host he is. As for Jackman, I must say this is a truly bizzarre choice but it'll be intriguing to see what he comes up with come February. I really hope they don't ditch the comedy though. Jon Stewart on Oscars night 2006 was a rare joy to behold... More

Posted by mighty mick at 00:48 on 13 December 2008 | Report This Post

I really don't know
I would never had thought about Hugh. I'll wait and see how it all turns out, but I'm sure he'll put his heart into it. But I'll always prefer Jon Stewart... More

Posted by anascreen29 at 23:34 on 12 December 2008 | Report This Post

do better research
Before writing a story you should do better research. He hosted the Tony Awards three years in a row. (2003, 2004 & 2005) He won an Emmy for the 2004 hosting and was nominated again for the 2005 hosting. He's an awesome entertainer and a great choice to host anything. More

Posted by birchie47 at 22:04 on 12 December 2008 | Report This Post

What have they been drinking?
I have nightmare visions of it becoming like the MTV Movie Awards.... God help us all... Seriously, it's worth a shot, so we'll see how it goes, and hope he does himself justice More

Posted by keatsmeister at 21:34 on 12 December 2008 | Report This Post

Certainly seems an odd choice, he's a fine actor hope it doesn't detract from his career. More

Posted by durelius at 21:05 on 12 December 2008 | Report This Post

Certainly seems an odd choice, he's a fine actor hope it doesn't detract from his career. More

Posted by durelius at 21:04 on 12 December 2008 | Report This Post

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