Just one day after the Golden Globes failed to nominate the Dark Knight for “Best Motion Picture, Drama,” the producers of the Academy Awards announced that Wolverine will be hosting the Oscars. Ok, it’s actually the actor Hugh Jackman, but he is best known among the general public for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men movies. Why would the producers of the Academy Awards choose Hugh Jackman to host? Is it because they saw how comic book movies dominated the box office this summer? Can we expect Hugh Jackman to be decked out in full Wolverine attire? Will there be special video segment honoring comic book movies? Will The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, and Hancock be the five Best Picture nominees? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the producers of the Academy Awards chose Hugh Jackman because they are huge X-Men fans. In the past, the Academy Awards host has usually been a comedian, sometimes with disastrous results. If the comedian host jokes fall flat, then the whole show tends to fall flat. Hugh Jackman’s selection as host is likely a signal that the producers are looking to bring elegance and sophistication to the hosting role.
In fact, a joint statement issued by Academy Awards producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon backs up that this was the reason for their selection. “Hugh Jackman is a consummate entertainer and an internationally renowned movie star,” said Mark and Condon. “He also has style, elegance and a sense of occasion. Hugh is the ideal choice to host a celebration of the year’s movies – and to have fun doing it.” While choosing Hugh Jackman might seem like a bold move by the producers of the Academy Awards, it is not like they are choosing someone who is untested. Jackman served as host of the 58th Annual Tony Awards in 2004, and he wound up winning an Emmy Award for his work in that role. Hugh Jackman was also recently selected by People Magazine as the “Sexiest Man Alive,” which certainly won’t hurt the Oscars in attracting female viewers. In fact, the choice of Hugh Jackman to host the Academy Awards could very well prove to be brilliance. The Academy Awards can still incorporate humor into the show through video segments and presenters, but by choosing a more serious host, there is not as much pressure on any one person to be funny and carry the show. Plus, maybe producers will throw in a treat for comic book fans and let Hugh Jackman plug his next movie by showing some scenes from the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine.