December 23, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

While Academy members are pondering the merits of Pulp Fiction versus Forrest Gump, a more intriguing question faces the producers of the March 27 Academy Awards ceremony: Who will be this year’s host with the most? In January, when four-time emcee Billy Crystal dropped out of the ’94 event, an industry guessing game ensued, with everyone from Johnny Carson to Tom Hanks reportedly being approached. The honor went to Whoopi Goldberg. And though Goldberg was among the evening’s biggest winners, she says she won’t do an encore. ”I’ve heard Billy is leaning toward doing it again, and he should,” says the Oscar-winning actress, adding, ”He’s the perfect host. I was just filling in for him. I had a great time, but I’ve done it.” Show producer Gil Cates, who’s aboard for his sixth go-round, declines to talk specifics. ”It’s too early,” he says. ”We’ll announce the theme in the first part of the year, then in February we’ll talk about the host.” A spokeswoman for Crystal, who could use a pick-me-up after the disappointing City Slickers II, says he’s available.

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