Avengers to host Oscars?

LOS ANGELES • The easy part will be wrapped up today when a week-long window for the 7,902 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to submit their nominations for the Oscar Awards on Feb 24 closes.

But the hard part - finding a replacement host after original choice Kevin Hart pulled out over his homophobic comments - remains.

Trade publication Variety reported last week that the organisers were thinking of going without a single host.

Now, reports have surfaced that the organisers are in talks to rope in a phalanx of Avengers actors to "save" the event.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the possible candidates include Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury).

Their mission on Feb 24?

To introduce segments of the show as it chugs along.

But will the Avengers crew agree? Fans think so, given that the actors will have a platform on Feb 24 to generate tonnes of valuable - and free - publicity for the Avengers: Endgame movie, which will be released on April 26 in America.

Disney owns the Marvel franchise and also ABC, which is broadcasting the Oscars, so it could be easier to pull strings to salvage the situation.

In the 90-year history of the Academy Awards, the ceremony has been held without a host only five times.

The most recent occasion was in 1989, but that strategy reportedly did not go down well with viewers.

With the Oscars suffering a ratings dip in recent years - last year's telecast slumped 20 per cent over the previous year's tally - the fear of a further backlash may well make the organisers still hold out hopes of roping in a big name as a single host.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline 'Avengers to host Oscars?'. Print Edition | Subscribe