In the latest head-scratching move to revitalize the annual Oscars telecast, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that action-movie director Brett Ratner will co-produce next year's show with veteran Don Mischer. In a statement, Academy President Tom Sherak said that Ratner is "unbelievably creative and knows how to take risks that are both interesting and inspiring." While primarily known as the director of such action flicks as the three Rush Hour movies and X-Men The Last Stand, Ratner actually got his start in the business churning out music videos and once vowed never to make a movie until after he had completed producing 100 music videos. But even he was apparently surprised by his selection. He told Deadline.com's Nikki Finke "Tom Sherak called me two weeks ago to come see him in his office. And I walk in and Tom is there with [Academy CEO] Dawn Hudson. And I thought I was being kicked out of Academy. I thought my maid had started bootlegging my Academy DVDs and I would be escorted out of the building and asked to relinquish my Academy cards." He told Finke that the conversation instead revolved around his complaints about previous Oscar telecasts and "Here's what I would do." Said Sherak "I didn't want him to leave our meeting. He said everything we wanted."

05/08/2011