For the second straight year, Oscar producers have lined up hosting duo, but after going with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin last year, the Academy now is looking young, tapping James Franco and Anne Hathaway for the February 27 telecast.
The rather shocking announcement -- nobody had been listing Hathaway or Franco on lists of potential hosts -- was made on Monday (Nov. 29) morning.
"James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27," state Oscar producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer. "We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that."
If all breaks according to studio plan, Hathaway and Franco could also be nominated for Oscars at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, with Franco currently in theaters with Fox Searchlight's "127 Hours" and Hathaway with 20th Century Fox's "Love and Other Drugs."
The selection of these two young A-listers is a surprising one, but both Franco and Hathaway have eclectic resumes that showcase variety and comedy, as well as multiple stints as "Saturday Night Live" hosts.
Hathaway already has one Oscar nod to her credit, courtesy of "Rachel Getting Married," as well as an Emmy win for a "Simpsons" vocal performance which included singing. She also memorably performed opposite Hugh Jackman during the 2009 Oscar ceremony.
Franco's next Oscar nomination would be his first, but he has a Golden Globe win for the telefilm "James Dean," as well as another Globe nod for "Pineapple Express."
The Oscar telecast will be presented live on ABC from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.