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Dwayne Johnson Reveals He Was Actually the “First Choice” to Host This Year’s Oscars

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Dwayne Johnson onstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Even though Kevin Hart was originally set to host this year’s Oscars, it turns out Dwayne Johnson was actually the Academy’s “first choice.” After a Twitter fan suggested that the 46-year-old actor would be “a great host,” Johnson replied with the revelation on Wednesday. “I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever,” he explained. “We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji.”

Johnson and Hart have developed quite the bromance over the years, and even though he hasn’t publicly addressed Hart’s controversy, it’s worth noting that Hart is also starring in the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sequel, which began filming earlier this week. Perhaps Hart just had an opening in his shooting schedule?

Regardless, the Academy Awards will be moving forward without a host on Feb. 24 after Hart stepped down. Following the announcement that Hart was confirmed to host, several of his controversial tweets — which included antigay slurs and homophobic insults — resurfaced online. The Academy asked him to either apologize or step down, and Hart chose the latter. This is the first time in almost 30 years that the ceremony has gone hostless (the ceremony didn’t have a host from 1969 to 1971 and in 1989), but we would have loved to have Johnson host. Maybe next year?