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UPDATE: It's official. Brian Grazer has replaced Brett Ratner as Oscars producer, and -- contrary to earlier rumblings -- won't hold a candlelight vigil for Eddie Murphy to return as host. "Insiders tell me that Imagine Entertainment co-founder Brian Grazer has moved on this afternoon," wrote Nikki Finke at Deadline about the Murphy-return rumors she initially revealed. "'We are not going back to him. No way,' they say." Noted!

"It's very gratifying to be part of a show that honors excellence in the medium to which I have devoted so much of my career," said Grazer in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences press release about his hire.

"Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who over the past 25 years has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work," said AMPAS president Tom Sherak. "He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscar."

Now all that's left is finding a host.

EARLIER: What was rumor mere hours ago is now apparently almost fact. Deadline's Nikki Finke reports that Brian Grazer has accepted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences offer to produce the Oscars telecast, following the resignation of Brett Ratner. Why do you care that Grazer, the super producer behind 'J. Edgar' and 'Tower Heist,' has taken the gig? Because he's going to try and convince Eddie Murphy to un-quit as Oscars host. That's right: per Finke, the Academy wants Murphy to host and Grazer's first duty as producer is to get him back! Hey, why not? At this rate, maybe Ratner can come back to cater the Oscars or something. (Shrimp cocktail, natch.) Just hire Neil Patrick Harris already, AMPAS.

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[via Deadline]

[Photo: Getty]



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