Update: The Academy 100% confirms Eddie Murphy as host in an official press release, which can be read below.

Beverly Hills, CA (September 6, 2011) – Oscar® nominee Eddie Murphy, whose performing career spans movies, television and the stage, will host this year’s Academy Awards show on Sunday, February 26, 2012, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be Murphy’s first hosting stint on the Oscars®.

“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances – especially on stage – I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show Don and I want to produce in February.”

Commented Mischer, “Eddie is a truly ground-breaking performer, whose amazingly diverse array of roles has won him a devoted audience of all ages. His quick wit and charisma will serve him very well as Oscar host.”

“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”

Murphy began his career at the age of 15 as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” becoming the show’s youngest cast member to that point, and bringing to life many of the show’s most memorable characters. His 1983 album “Eddie Murphy: Comedian” won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording. It included portions of his groundbreaking HBO special “Eddie Murphy Delirious.” In 1987, “Eddie Murphy Raw” was theatrically released and went on to gross over $50 million. Murphy made his feature film debut in 1982 with the classic “48 Hrs.” and would go on to star in such box-office hits as “Beverly Hills Cop” and the “The Nutty Professor” and “Shrek” franchises. All told, movies in which he has performed have earned in excess of $7 billion worldwide during their theatrical releases.

Murphy earned an Oscar nomination in 2006 for his supporting role in “Dreamgirls.”

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, 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.

If Tower Heist doesn’t deliver all your Brett RatnerEddie Murphy entertainment needs this fall, we may be getting another dose in 2012. After the Rush Hour director was hired to produce the ceremonies rewarding the top achievements in film according to the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Deadline reports that there is only one name he has in mind for host.

There has been heavy rumors of Billy Crystal returning, but the word is that Eddie Murphy is the man Ratner desires. Although president Tom Sherak has the final words and co-producer Don Mischer is reportedly fielding many calls for the gig, Ratner won’t shut up about Murphy being his one and only choice.

The man who grabbed a Best Supported Actor nomination for Dreamgirls is even said to love movies more than the director of Pulp Fiction. That’s right, according to Deadline, an “insider” states, “Nobody knows movies better or is a bigger cinephile than Eddie. Not Brett. Not even Quentin Tarantino. Eddie can quote scenes from every single movie word for word. He can bring all that experience to hosting. Plus he has Saturday Night Live experience before a live crowd. And worldwide the biggest crossover comedians are Will Smith and Eddie Murphy.”

I can’t help but feel this is simply perfect crossroads for Ratner’s global publicity machine for Tower Heist, but I seem to be in the minority that think the man could pull off a ridiculous, over-the-top show. We’ve seen them go the glamorous route in previous years, which hasn’t succeeded. If Ratner needs Murphy, then let it be. At least Crystal is said to be incorporated in some fashion regardless of who gets the hosting gig. For now, I’ll simply be focusing on the actual movies in consideration with the fall film festival circuit now in full swing.

Do you think Eddie Murphy will make a good host under Ratner’s supervision if he gets the gig?

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