In an effort to inject some life into the Oscars next year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that director Brett Ratner will co-produce the telecast with Don Mischer. The move was a surprise considering Ratner’s age and relative inexperience. Ratner, 42, has directed some summer blockbusters, but he does not come with the bona fides that accompany a typical Oscars producer.

Ratner currently is directing The Tower Heist, a comedy along the lines of Ocean's Eleven, that stars Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. The director is best know for the Rush Hour trilogy of films that starred Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. Ratner also directed X-Men: The Last Stand, in 2006.

The Academy is looking to improve the comedic elements of the Oscars, a move that is needed after last year’s James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting debacle. Speaking of Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and President Tom Sherak, Ratner said, “To their credit, Tom and Dawn really understand what is needed, and comedy is a big part of it and I want to make that part of it,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Ratner’s shooting schedule for Heist will not interfere with his work as producer, and he has said he plans to begin preparing for the Oscars right away. Of course, a major first step will be finding a host for the program, though the bar is set low.

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