Peter Sorel/Summit Entertainment
Twilight may not be nominated for any Oscars, but that doesn't mean the movie won't be a part of Hollywood's biggest night on Feb. 22.
"I promise you, there will be a presence," Laurence Mark, a first-time producer of this year's Academy Awards, tells me. "You'll see. I promise there is and on more than one occasion."
If Twilight doesn’t give Mark and his coproducer Bill Condon a huge jump in the ratings, we can't imagine what would.
Mark also talked Peter Gabriel, MIA and…a shirtless Hugh Jackman?
Gabriel, a nominee for "Down to Earth" from WALL-E, announced this morning he'll be at the Oscars, but he won't be performing during the Best Song medley with "Jai Ho" and "O...Saya," both from Slumdog Millionaire. Gabriel was asked to cut his almost six-minute song to just 65 seconds.
Mark defended the new musical arrangement as another way of "shaking things up."
"We completely get where's he's coming from," Mark said of Gabriel. "It wasn't any sort of bad blood going on. It was just a difference of opinion of how he felt things needed to be done."
Mark said they're considering Gabriel's suggestion to have the Soweto Gospel Choir step in to replace him: "We're actually chatting with those guys. We think it's a lovely idea."
M.I.A.'s performance in the medley (she's a nominee for her collaboration on "O...Saya") remains up in the air. It was reported earlier today that the rapper gave birth sometime this week after performing at the Grammys this past Sunday on her actual due date.
Mark said he doesn't know if the baby has arrived, but said, "she's eager to perform…We've said things like, 'We're willing to have her enter on a large bed.' We'll make it as easy for her as we can." (FYI: Sources also tell me the baby is definitely here; M.I.A.'s rep did not comment.)
And in the spirit of shaking things up, I had to ask if there was any chance first-time host Hugh Jackman would be taking off his shirt during the show. Mark laughed, "I tend to doubt it."
Hey, don't laugh. A chest-baring Jackman plus Twilight could would mean the Oscars' highest ratings ever.