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Dwayne Johnson is laying out what we would have seen as with “The Rock” as Oscars host. It would have been glorious.
Except Johnson was too busy with his jammed film schedule after he was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ top pick to host the Feb. 24 show.
“I was their first choice to host this year,” Johnson said on Twitter Wednesday. “My goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever. We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting ‘Jumanji.’ “
It was not to be. Johnson said both he and the Academy “were super bummed” that it couldn’t work out.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson said he met multiple times with Oscar producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss. In true action-star mode, he even assembled a team and laid out specific performance numbers.
“I had this whole idea about this massive number, and I was going to sing and I was going to bring in this person to sing, this person from the audience, and … Oh, my God,” Johnson said. “And they were excited, but finally I had to pass.”
Oscars host crisis: Kevin Hart steps down
“We were going to turn the Oscars on their head this year and make it something special and unique and different, and start a new era of how Oscars are going to be enjoyed,” Johnson added. “That was the goal, audience first. I wanted to try and create a scenario where, at the end of the night, my friends who won, my friends who didn’t win, all had, despite not winning, had the greatest time. That was the goal.”
Johnson elaborated that it was scheduling matters on two films which blocked the gig: His “Fast & Furious” spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw,” which just released its first trailer after wrapping production, and the “Jumanji” sequel, which is about to start shooting.
The Academy has not responded to USA TODAY’s request for comment on The Rock’s revelations. But what ended up happening with the host gig is a sad tale of awards season woe.
Johnson’s “Jumanji 2” co-star Kevin Hart announced that he would be fulfilling his lifelong dream of hosting the Oscars, but stepped down in December following a crisis stemming from his refusal to apologize for previous homophobic comments and tweets.
No one has stepped into the host spot. ABC confirmed Wednesday that the Oscars show will go on this year without a host, the first time since 1989.
But as Johnson said in his tweet, “Maybe one day down the road.”
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