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Eddie Murphy Oscar kerfuffle won't affect 'Words'

November 15, 2011 |  5:10 pm

The resignation of Eddie Murphy as Oscars host last week eliminated one way the A-lister might have returned to our good graces.

But another piece of the Murphy comeback puzzle remains intact: Paramount will still release “A Thousand Words,” his long-shelved comedy, on March 23.

The Oscars gig would have been a key element in helping bring luster back to Murphy’s career, not to mention attract some attention to the movie. Said appearance was always a bit of an X-factor — Murphy could have done something embarrassing, or worse, presided over a boring ceremony.

But his appearance in a venue we've always embraced him — on a live stage — was an important piece of the March rollout (especially after "Tower Heist," Murphy's most recent attempt to regain some cachet, failed this month.). In fact, the Oscars were part of the decision to release the movie on the March date in the first place, since it would have been less than a month after his scheduled appearance at the Kodak Theatre.

All isn't lost for the film: There are still other promotional possibilities, not the least of which is that Murphy returns to host his alma mater, "Saturday Night Live,” something Paramount is privately said to be interested in.

Murphy shot "A Thousand Words" in 2008, but a series of regime changes at Paramount as well as a number of Murphy flops kept the movie in limbo.

As for the film's plot, it's about a huckster Hollywood type (Murphy) who is cursed by a spiritual guru that he'll die after he speaks a thousand words. The comparison some bloggers have made is to "Liar Liar," another high-concept comedy from a versatile actor, with each containing its share of physical comedy. Judging by the trailer, which played in front of Adam Sandler’s “Jack & Jill” last weekend, it has at least some similarities to the Jim Carrey title. You can check it out below.



Eddie Murphy out as host of the Oscars

Week in Review: Academy Awards implosion [video]

Tower Heist: Is Eddie Murphy's tank finally on open?

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Eddie Murphy in "A Thousand Words." Credit: Paramount Pictures

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