This is the best news of the week: Brett Ratner has been asked to produce the Oscar show this year with Don Mischer. Every year a guest producer is brought in to bring extra excitement to the show. Ratner is a showman, and knows how to get an audience. He’s made the “Rush Hour” movies and “X Men: Last Stand”–the latter remains the biggest hi in that franchise. He’s also got one of my favorite films, “Family Man,” on his resume. Ratner’s “Tower Heist” looks to be a huge hit this Christmas, too. What’s interesting too is that Ratner tells me the Academy asked him–it wasn’t like he requested the job. And more intriguing, too, because the new head of the Academy is Dawn Hudson, the brilliant former chief of Film Independent–and the Indie Spirit Awards. So it’s not like she chose Don Roos to produce the Oscars. Good for Hudson. Now the question remains: can Brett get Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller to co-host? Or Chris Tucker and Mariah Carey? Suddenly, Oscar gets hot, hot, hot.
PS Don’t be surprised if Ratner, an accomplished photographer, winds up shooting all the nominees for the show and publicity.