Dwayne Johnson Says He Was the 'First Choice' to Host the Oscars
The 46-year-old actor revealed he wanted to host the Oscars "but couldn’t make it work" due to his busy schedule
Billy Crystal. Whoopi Goldberg. Jimmy Kimmel. Dwayne Johnson?
The 46-year-old actor said that he was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “first choice” to host the Oscars in a tweet on Wednesday — although it’s unclear if he was serious.
The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star shared the news when a fan wrote, “If the Academy is so inclined to line up a great host for next year’s Oscars, just pick @TheRock. Nuff said.”
Johnson replied, “Ah mahalo dude, I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever.”
He added, “We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji. Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road.”
A rep for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which hosts the Oscars) did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Johnson’s Jumanji costar Kevin Hart was previously named as the Oscar host but stepped down after past homophobic tweets written by him were resurfaced.
Hart apologized for his previous comments in a tweet shortly after he dropped out and again on his Sirius XM radio show, Straight from The Hart. The 39-year-old actor will join Johnson in the untitled Jumanji sequel, according to IMDb.
While the Oscars will be host-less this year, the show will rely on a star-studded list of presenters, including last year’s Oscar winners: Gary Oldman, Allison Janney, Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.
Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Constance Wu will join them as presenters later this month.
ABC President Karey Burke spoke about the awards show during the ABC executive session at the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour on Tuesday.
“From what I’ve heard, we have a very exciting opener planned,” Burke told reporters. “We are not going to go straight into people thanking their agents.”
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She added “there wasn’t messiness beyond the Kevin Hart situation” when it came to planning the Oscars.
“After that, it was pretty clear that we were going to stay the course,” she explained. “There was an idea that they were going to have the presenters just host the Oscars. We all got on board with that.”
The 91st Annual Academy Awards will air live Feb. 24 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.