Ratner and Murphy out of Oscars; who’s next?

There’s nothing like a little Oscar-ceremony drama — but rarely does it start so early. The actual ceremony isn’t till Feb. 26, after all. And yet the huffing and puffing and quitting is already here.

On Tuesday, Brett Ratner dropped out of producing the show after his use of a gay slur caused an uproar. During a question-and-answer session last weekend after a screening of his “Tower Heist,” Ratner said, “Rehearsal is for fags.” Really, Rat? Even middle-schoolers don’t find that funny or edgy.

And then Ratner yammered on about his sex life on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show. Not something the Hollywood elite wanted to see someone do who’s in charge of their revered, esteemed Oscar ceremony.

Today, Eddie Murphy, who was set to host the Academy and just starred in “Tower Heist,” has followed his pal Ratner. He bailed out of the hosting gig.

Ratner had always seemed an odd choice to produce the Oscars. His ouevre isn’t exactly Bergmanesque. He directed a trio of “Rush Hours” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” and ... um ... let’s see ... what else might qualify him as an Oscar producer ... a Madonna video? The video was for “Beautiful Stranger,” for those of you keeping track at home.

Maybe Ratner is Hollywood old-fogeys’ idea of hip and cool, but he’s really just lowest-common-denominator.

I mean, asking Ratner to helm the Oscars is akin to begging Michael Bay to do the same.

Wait! Yes! Get Bay on the phone, Oscar administrative types! Imagine how much stuff Bay could blow up on the Academy Awards stage!

But, seriously, folks, who should take over? If you’re sticking with director-star combos like Ratner-Murphy, I’d vote for Adam McKay producing and Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly co-hosting. That would be an entertaining show.

Who would you find the most amusing choice to replace Ratner as an Academy Awards producer?


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