The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is going for a younger look with the hosts for the 83rd annual Oscar Awards. Anne Hathaway and James Franco have signed on to emcee the biggest night in film on February 27, according to Deadline.com.
Both actors are also Oscar hopefuls themselves this year: 32-year-old Franco for his performance in Danny Boyle’s ‘127 Hours’ and 28-year-old Hathaway’s role in ‘Love and Other Drugs’ could bring her a golden statue as well.
“James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons – fresh, exciting and multi-talented,” said producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer of the surprise decision.
“We hope to create an Oscars broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world.” They also said it is not unprecedented for Oscar hosts also to be nominees.
The news feeds the rumor that Academy President Tom Sherak is hoping to improve Oscar ratings with the young actors. Franco and Hathaway’s combined age of 60 is five years less than Steve Martin’s age. He co-hosted the show with Alec Baldwin last year, while Australian heartthrob Hugh Jackman proved a popular choice in 2009.
Deadline’s columnist Pete Hammond said: “Part of the reason the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences feels comfortable going with these two is that both James Franco and Anne Hathaway have both very successfully hosted Saturday Night Live.”
“And they looked at that and felt these young actors could work in front of a live audience which is why in the past the Academy has gone to so many stand-up comedians. And, of course, the other factor is that they really ‘young up’ the Oscars this year. It’s an interesting choice and certainly unexpected and bold,” he added.
Here are some reactions on the Academy’s Facebook page: Ivana Ondrejková wrote: “Wow Awesome! I love both of them! Cannot wait! The last year’s pairing – Martin and Baldwin – were great as well as Hugh Jackman the year before. So I’m really excited about seeing these two.”
“I agree with what alot of people are saying like what! I like the both of them as actors but I don’t agree with this odd choice of hosts I happen to have enjoyed when Billy Crystal use to host them let them prove me wrong I guess,” said Tara Chantel Cameron.
Andres Landaeta said: “James Franco? Hmm… That is an odd pair. Somehow I don’t feel good about the oscars as I used to. But hopefully, they will get better… Soon.”
Franco, who currently can be seen in “127 Hours,” will be making his second appearance on an Oscar telecast. His other film credits include “Eat, Love, Pray,” “Date Night,” “Milk” and “Pineapple Express.” Franco is also known for his portrayals of Harry Osborn in the “Spider-Man” trilogy.
Hathaway will be making her fifth appearance on an Academy Awards telecast. She was recently seen in “Alice in Wonderland” and currently can be seen in “Love and Other Drugs.“
Hathaway’s other film credits include “Bride Wars,” “Becoming Jane,” “The Devil Wears Prada” and “The Princess Diaries.” She was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for her lead performance in “Rachel Getting Married.”
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide. [via Dead Line and PopEater]
Article thumbnail image courtesy of Matt DeTurck/Flickr.