Brian Grazer Replaces Brett Ratner as Oscars Producer

Earlier today, Eddie Murphy dropped out of his Oscar-hosting job after his Tower Heist director Brett Ratner resigned from his Oscar-producing gig. But if the Academy has things their way, Murphy may return yet. Producer Brian Grazer has been tapped to replace Ratner as the new Oscar producer, and apparently his first job will be to get Murphy back. More after the jump.

For those who haven’t been following the drama, Ratner stepped down from his supposed “dream job” producing the Oscars after the filmmaker made a string of comments that sparked a public firestorm. The Academy was willing to stand by Ratner as he made crass remarks about “banging” Olivia Munn and dismissed rehearsal as being “for fags,” with Academy president Tom Sherak saying that “we all make mistakes” and “this won’t and can’t happen again.”

But Ratner kept spilling untoward details about his sex life — this time during a Howard Stern appearance — and according to Vulture, the Academy eventually decided he had to go. Ratner wound up voluntarily resigning on Tuesday, and Murphy quickly followed on Wednesday.

Now The Hollywood Reporter says that Tower Heist producer Grazer has stepped in for Ratner. Grazer’s top priority will be finding a host for the ceremony — which could very well be Murphy, again. Deadline claims that the Academy is hoping Grazer can convince Murphy to return. “If anyone can get Eddie back in, it’s Brian,” writes the website. “For Grazer to take on the Oscars demonstrates a dedication to the movie community.”

With Grazer, then, the Academy could be getting the best of both worlds. Love him or hate him, Ratner was an exciting choice that got people talking and had the potential to draw in a new audience — but he ultimately proved a bit too controversial for the Oscars. Grazer seems like a much more reliable choice, but if he’s able to pull Murphy back on board, the Academy could still get a lot of buzz from his involvement. And even if he can’t, he’s probably got the clout to get someone equally interesting to sign on.

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