If not Jimmy Fallon then who should host the 85th Academy Awards?

If not Jimmy Fallon then who should host the 85th Academy Awards?

15 potential candidates or duos to consider

Every year, without fail, we hit this cycle in pre-awards seasons discussion.  it's a bit early to really dive into the possible contenders (even though most studios know what they have and what they don't) and the Academy is usually doing its best to lock down a producer.  So, when news leaked last week that Jimmy Fallon was in negotiations to host the Academy Awards it appeared the Academy was trying to lock down the highly-turned down job earlier rather than later.  This was also the idea last year when Brett Ratner convinced Eddie Murphy to host the Oscars on Sept. 6.  Both hires lasted an amazing two months as Brian Grazer and Don Misher soon found themselves picking up the pieces late in the game. Thankfully, Billy Crystal - who had embarrassingly campaigned to return earlier that spring - returned for one last go around.

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<p>Denzel Washington in Robert Zemeckis' &quot;Flight.&quot;</p>

Denzel Washington in Robert Zemeckis' "Flight."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Denzel Washington's next will take 'Flight' at 2012 New York Film Festival

Zemeckis' first live action flick in 12 years will close the festival

Paramount Pictures is celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year.  It's a remarkable achievement for any company, but unfortunately the legendary studio hasn't had a lot to celebrate.  After coming off arguably the most financially successful year in the studio's history, 2012 may turn out to be one of the worst.  Their biggest "hits" to date have been a re-release of "Titanic" in 3D and Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator" (the later barely getting into the black).  The company distributed DreamWorks Animation's hit "Madgascar 3" and got a financial percentage of the mammoth "Avengers" grosses thanks to a deal with Walt Disney Studios, but to say it's been quiet on the Melrose lot is something of an understatement (we won't even go into the big delays for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "World War Z"). That's all about to change, however.

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Daniel Day-Lewis transformed in new promo still for Spielberg's 'Lincoln'

Daniel Day-Lewis transformed in new promo still for Spielberg's 'Lincoln'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones also star

Next time you dig a penny out your pocket at the store, you may find Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis suddenly crossing your mind.

In this newly-released photo from Steven Speilberg's upcoming Oscar hopeful "Lincoln," the actor looks to be the spitting image of the 16th U.S. president who helped reunite a fractured America -- and rocked one of history's greatest beards.

Take a look here:

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Lewis has picked up two best actor Academy Awards (for "My Left Foot" and "There Will be Blood"), and Touchstone Pictures are no doubt hoping he'll be the one to best this awards season. 

Instead of attempting to cover his entire career, the film will wisely focus on just the last act of Lincoln's life, tracing his momentous presidency through the Civil War and abolition, and ultimately leading to his death at the hands of assassin John Wilkes Booth. Day-Lewis' Honest Abe will therefore be starting the film with the weight of the world already on his shoulders.

“Our movie is really about a working leader who must make tough decisions and get things done in the face of overwhelming opposition,” Spielberg said in a press release.

Oscar winner Sally Field ("Norma Rae," "Places in the Heart") plays First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, while "The Dark Knight Rises'" Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays their eldest son, Robert.

Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn and Jackie Earle Haley also star in the highly-anticipated film .

"Lincoln" opens November 9.

<p>A shot of the projection above the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl.</p>

A shot of the projection above the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl.

Hollywood Bowl salutes the original scores of Pixar

Randy Newman and Michael Giacchino are on hand

HOLLYWOOD - Fans of Pixar in Southern California have been in heaven this weekend as the legendary animation house has been the subject of a very special tribute at the famed Hollywood Bowl.

Under the direction of Thomas Wilkins, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra has been performing selections from the scores of Randy Newman, Thomas Newman, Michael Giacchino and Patrick Doyle alongside projected imagery from their respective Pixar films. In fact, every film has been given a share of the spotlight (yes, even the much maligned "Cars 2") and the concert is a wonderful trip down memory lane.  The Bowl has put on two shows so far, Friday and Saturday night, and the third and final performance is tonight, Sunday August. 5 (as of publication, some seats were still available).

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<p>Zac Efron in a scene from &quot;At Any Price.&quot;</p>

Zac Efron in a scene from "At Any Price."

Credit: Sony Classics

Zac Efron's 'At Any Price' finds a home with Sony Classics

Could the Venice competition title hit theaters this year?

2012 has been a year of major transition for Zac Efron. The former "High School Musical" and "17" again star has found his way-out of teen-themed flicks into more mature fare. It began at the Sundance Film Festival with a small role in Josh Radnor's dramedy "Liberal Arts" and was soon followed by the Nicholas Sparks romance "The Lucky One" which was an impressive double for Warner Bros. grossing $60 million domestic.  In May, Efron made his Cannes Film Festival debut with Lee Daniels' polarizing drama "The Paperboy" where he reportedly held his own opposite co-stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaguhey and John Cusack.  Before "Paperboy" finds its ways into theaters this October, Efron will make another trip across the atlantic to Italy for the Venice Film Festival premiere of Ramin Bahrani's drama "At Any Price." 

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<p>Helena Bonham Carter as Ms. Havishim in &quot;Great Expectations.&quot;</p>

Helena Bonham Carter as Ms. Havishim in "Great Expectations."

Credit: BBC Films

Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter have 'Great Expectations' in new images

Mike Newell's Dickens adaptation to screen at Toronto

Debuting at this year's Toronto Film Festival (where it will be looking to score a U.S. distributor), director Mike Newell's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" stars "War Horse"'s Jeremy Irvine as Philip "Pip" Pirrip, the novel's chief protagonist and narrator. Also starring are Holliday Grainger ("The Borgias") as Estella, Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as the vengeful Ms. Havisham.

In advance of the film's TIFF premiere, several new images have hit the web that offer a look at the film's four main stars. Check them out in the gallery below and let us know what you think!

The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16. You can check out a list of all the selected titles here.

 

<p>NBC's Jimmy Fallon could make some noise on ABC by hosting the Academy Awards.</p>

NBC's Jimmy Fallon could make some noise on ABC by hosting the Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Report: Jimmy Fallon to host, Lorne Michaels to produce 85th Academy Awards

Is ABC trying to block the funny man from getting the gig?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasn't always gone in the creative direction ABC would prefer for the awards show of all awards shows, the Academy Awards, and a report indicates they are not thrilled with the host selection for the 2013 Oscars.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jimmy Fallon is in negotiations to host the 85th Academy Awards and that his former "Saturday Night Live" mentor Lorne Michaels will produce.  This would be the first time either has taken the mantle of ABC's February ratings jewel.

HitFIx has reached out to the Academy for an official comment with no response. However, the organization told the Times there were no talks ongoing at this time.

Fallon has been the host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" since March 2009. He replaced Conan O'Brien who went on to briefly host "The Tonight Show" later that year.  "Late Night" originally began in 1982 with David Letterman behind the interview desk. Fallon directly competes - for half an hour - opposite "Jimmy Kimmel Live" which has grown a loyal audience on ABC since 2003. Kimmel has traditionally put on a post-Oscar installment of the show after the event for the past few years. The prospect of Fallon emceeing one year's most watched program is not sitting well with ABC. They have reportedly voiced their displeasure over Fallon's involvement, but contractually it is the Academy's decision.

As for Michaels, his involvement is a pleasant surprise.  The "SNL" and comedy innovator is an executive producer "Late Night" and a veteran movie producer.  His films include the "Wayne's World" franchise, "Mean Girls," "Tommy Boy" and, more recently, "Baby Mama."  Even if Fallon doesn't come on board, Michaels involvement would mean the Academy is attempting to bring more humor back to the event.

Reports indicate that outgoing Academy President Tom Sherak worked to bring Michaels and Fallon on board. Howard "Hawk" Koch was elected AMPAS' new President earlier this week.

The 84th Academy Awards was hosted by Billy Crystal and produced by produced by Brian Glazer and Don Mischer.  Over 39.3 million viewers watched the show, the second highest total in five years.  It received a 25.5 rating, the show's highest rating mark since 2005.

Who do you think should host the 2013 Oscars? Share your thoughts below.

<p>Brad Pitt in Andrew Dominik's &quot;Killing Them&nbsp;Softly.&quot;</p>

Brad Pitt in Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Brad Pitt has punk criminals to eliminate in new 'Killing Them Softly' trailer

Style and crime in New Orleans

If there is any film I'm disappointed I missed by skipping the 2012 Cannes Film Festival it's Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly."  His last picture, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," was one of the best films of 2007 and of the 21st Century's first decade.  He's re-teamed with the producer and star of "James," Brad Pitt, for his follow up.

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<p>The infamous 100 meter final from the 1988 Seoul Olympics.</p>

The infamous 100 meter final from the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Toronto Film Festival docs focus on Ben Johnson, Snoop Dogg and Thirty Seconds to Mars

Plus: Sony Pictures brings 'Hotel Transylvania' north for the kiddies

The Toronto International Film Festival announced additional selections to this year's edition of the festival including a large number of documentaries and some intriguing vanguard titles.

Among the doc highlights, Daniel Gordon's "9.79*" revisits the 100 meter final from the 1988 Seoul Olympics which is notorious for Ben Johnson's anabolic steroid scandal. "Artifact" chronicles Thirty Seconds to Mars and Jared Leto's long legal battle against EMI.  "As if Were Catching a Cobra" captures the insurgent movements among Arab artists in Egypt and Syria. Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sara Burns' "The Central Park Five" comes to Toronto after screening at Cannes in May. Recent Sony Pictures Classics acquisition "The Gatekeepers" takes an in-depth look at Israel's secret service agency and screens for the firs time after its debut at Jerusalem International Film Festival. Matthew Cooke uses interviews with subjects such as 50 Cent, Eminem, David Simon and "Freeway" Rick Ross to chronicle the war on drugs in "How to Make Money Selling Drugs."  "Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp" examines the life of the cult cultural icon. Alex Gibney tackles the power of the Catholic Church in "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God." Janet Tobias' "No Place on Earth" discovers that five Jewish families spent over a year and a half in Ukraine's caves to escape the Nazis during WWII. Snoop Dogg allegedly finds spirituality in "Reincarnated." Another look at Roman Polanski in Marina Zenovich's "Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out"  Jamie Kastner brings disco back in what the festival describes as a "hilarious new package" in "The Secret Disco Revolution." "Shepard & Dark" looks at the friendship of Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark through years of written correspondence. "Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky" recounts the rise and fall of the infamous Canadian entertainment mogul. Participant Media and Dan Setton looks at the continuing struggle of the Palestinian state.  "Storm Surfers 3D" follows two best friends in their quest to find the biggest and most dangerous waves in the world.

Among the intriguing Vanguard titles, Rodney Ascher's "Room 237" makes a stop on the festival circuit in Toronto as does Michel Gondry's "The We and the I" and Luis Prieto's English language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's "Pusher."

TIFF is also continuing its family friendly selections, known as TIFF Kids.  This year's movies include the world premiere of "Hotel Transylvania," "Finding Nemo 3D," French-language animated Cannes selection "Ernest & Célestine" and the live-action "Igor & the Cranes' Journey."

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from Nov. 6-16.  Look for complete coverage from Venice, Toronto and Telluride from HitFix's editorial team.

<p>Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and the ensemble of &quot;The Master.&quot;</p>

Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and the ensemble of "The Master."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Master' will premiere at Venice - is Toronto next?

The festival scene gets a bit more exciting this year

Long rumored, but discounted by some, the Venice Film Festival has officially announced that Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" will make its highly-anticipated premiere at the prestigious European fest.

Anderson's follow up to the Oscar-nominated "There Will Be Blood," this new drama centers on a young drifter (Joaquin Phoenix in comeback mode) and the founder of a cult-like religion (Philip Seymour Hoffman) which is beginning to finally gain traction with the general public.  The filmmakers and their surrogates continue to deny the connection between the fictional religion and Scientology, but as more footage is revealed the allegory is becoming harder to discredit.  The picture also features Amy Adams and Laura Dern.

The Weinstein Company is releasing "The Master" in the United States and recently moved the film's limited opening up to Sept. 14.  Along with the Venice news, it's a slam dunk that the film will also screen at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival which takes place a week before its release date.

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