Eddie Murphy will host the Academy Awards in February 2012. Deadline first reported that the actor accepted producer Brett Ratner’s offer. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences made it official Tuesday afternoon.

“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” Ratner said in a statement. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances ... I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show [co-producer] Don [Mischer] and I want to produce in February.”

Murphy said he is “enormously honored” by the selection.

Deadline broke the story that Ratner, the ceremony’s new producer, had selected the actor as his top choice to host. Ratner directed the “SNL” alum in the upcoming comedy, “Tower Heist.”

Murphy is a big departure from the failed young/hip/cool Oscar hosting experiment that had Anne Hathway and James Franco at the helm. Maybe what the Oscars needs to get back on track is a seasoned pro like Murphy.

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