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Weren't a fan of last year's James Franco and Anne Hathaway-hosted Academy Awards? Well, perhaps you'll enjoy a more raw take: Eddie Murphy has officially been tapped to emcee the 2012 Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences revealed in a statement Tuesday, confirming earlier rumors that had floated the possibility.
Though many were hoping that eight-time host Billy Crystal would climb back in the saddle for a ninth go-around, Oscar producer Brett Ranter so enjoyed directing Murphy in this fall's Tower Heist that the 50-year-old actor-comedian was his first choice for the hosting gig.
"Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever," Ratner said in a statement. "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 (co-producer) Don (Mischer) and I want to produce in February."
Murphy, who was nominated for an Oscar for 2006's Dreamgirls, seems equally excited to tackle emceeing duties. "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," he said in a press release. "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."
That's a pretty reserved statement coming from a boundary-pushing comic known for bringing the raunch in his stand-up comedy (see 1987's concert film Eddie Murphy Raw for plentiful examples). But we have every confidence that he'll give this year's Oscars a much needed burst of (potentially R-rated) energy.