With the Oscars telecast just weeks away, the Motion Picture Academy and the show’s producers are struggling to put the ceremony back on track in the wake of the Kevin Hart fiasco. The latest plan, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is to bring in superheroes to try to rescue the program — in the form of an Avengers reunion.
Besides losing Hart as the ceremony’s host — the comedian stepped down after becoming a lightning rod for criticism over his homophobic tweets from 10 years ago — the Academy has come under fire over its aborted decision to introduce a popular film category. The show will go on, set for Feb. 24 on ABC, but apparently without a host — which hasn’t happened since 1989.
THR notes that the program “will rely on a rotating cast of stars to introduce various segments. And to up the star quotient even further, the show’s producers are currently lining up appearances by as many big-name castmembers from Marvel’s sprawling Avengers franchise as possible.”
THR adds: “An Avengers all-star Oscar reunion wouldn’t be unprecedented. Following the success of 2012’s ‘Avengers,’ the 2013 telecast featured Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) together onstage. But since then the Avengers’ ranks, as well as those of its rivals and foes, have only grown, and this time around the Academy is looking to pull together an even bigger assemblage.”
The Academy wasn’t commenting on the plan, but THR notes that details on the incorporation of Avengers into the ceremony were still being worked out.