Motion picture academy president Tom Sherak maintains that the turbulence of the past week, which saw both the co-producer and host of next year's Oscar telecast resign, will have no effect on the production of the telecast itself. Referring to the departure of Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy, Sherak told Deadline.com "If this happened in January, I would be hiding under my desk. ... We are actually two and a half weeks ahead of where we were last year, in terms of naming a host." (Sherak quickly signed Billy Crystal to replace Murphy.) The academy president said that he was able to move quickly in the wake of the resignations after being deluged with phone calls from people in the industry offering to help. "It's like we woke up a Sleeping Giant," Sherak said. One of the calls, he said, came from Brian Grazer, "He said, 'I want to help,' so I said, "What if I asked you to become the producer.' He said, 'Ask me.' I did, and he said, 'I'm in.'"

11/11/2011