ABC has confirmed that March’s Academy awards will have a host as the ceremony returns to the Dolby Theatre
An Oscar statue appears outside the Dolby Theatre. Photograph: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
The Guardian-Benjamin Lee
During the winter Television Critics Association virtual press tour, the ABC entertainment president, Craig Erwich, announced that March’s ceremony would see a return to the tradition without revealing who might be hosting. “You heard it here first,” he said before quipping that it could be him.
The Academy awards last had a host in 2018 in the shape of Jimmy Kimmel before the following year was plagued by controversy after resurfaced homophobic jokes and tweets caused Kevin Hart to stand down.
The 2019 telecast saw a rise in viewers, up from 26.6 million to 29.5 million but subsequent years have seen a consistent fall with 2021’s ceremony plummeting to an all-time low of 10.4 million.
After last year’s Covid-affected ceremony was held at Union Station, this year will see the Oscars return to the Dolby Theatre. The Girls Trip and Ride Along producer Will Packer has been named executive producer for the night.
“Will really has his pulse on popular culture and entertainment,” Erwich said. “I know he has a lot in store and we’ll have more details to share soon.”
Fresh off the record-breaking success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, star Tom Holland recently expressed interest in hosting. “If they ask me to, I would, and it would be very fun,” he said to the Hollywood Reporter. “I would really enjoy it.”
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the Academy did then reach out to Holland.
Last weekend saw The Power of the Dog and West Side Story come out on top at a subdued, star-free Golden Globes which wasn’t televised after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was boycotted by publicity firms, celebrities and studios. Oscar nominations will be revealed on 8 February with the ceremony taking place on 27 March.