Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson claims he was "first choice" to host the Academy Awards but was too busy to take the job.
The 46-year-old actor hoped to make the 2019 Oscars "fun and entertaining" but his commitments to ‘Jumanji 2’ ruled him out of the job, which was eventually accepted by Kevin Hart, his co-star in the film, though he subsequently stepped down following a row over homophobic tweets.
The Rock tweeted: "I was their first choice to host this year, and 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. (sic)"
But the ‘Fast and Furious’ star hasn’t ruled out stepping up to the helm for a future ceremony.
He added: "Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road (sic)"
This year’s ceremony is to go ahead without a host byt ABC recently teased the Oscars – which will take place at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 24 – will kick off with a "very exciting" opening.
After the likes of Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lopez and Whoopi Goldberg were all confirmed as presenters, ABC president Karey Burke said: "From what I’ve heard, we have a very exciting opener planned. We are not going to go straight into people thanking their agents."
Karey insists that the "lack of clarity" surrounding the show’s hosting situation has proved to be helpful in keeping the ceremony relevant, and says the list of presenters is "phenomenal".
She added: "Ironically, I have found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept them in the conversion. It’s really compelling. People really care.
"The list of presenters is phenomenal and growing. This is going to be a big turnout for this. There are big popular movies being nominated."
The broadcaster’s comments come after Daniel, Jennifer, and Whoopi were announced as presenters alongside Awkwafina, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Constance Wu.
Meanwhile, Bradley Cooper is set to make his award show singing debut at the Academy Awards when he takes to the stage with his ‘A Star Is Born’ co-star, as the pair will perform their hit song ‘Shallow’, which is taken from the movie and which is nominated for Best Original Song.