The ''Rush Hour'' director and mega-producer plans to add some oomph to the 84th annual Academy Awards

By Dave Karger
Updated August 12, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Surprised to hear that director Brett Ratner was selected to produce next year’s Oscars ceremony? So was he. ”I thought they were asking me to hand over my Academy card,” Ratner says of getting the call to meet with Academy president Tom Sherak and CEO Dawn Hudson. The 42-year-old filmmaker (and Academy member), who’s best known for directing X-Men: The Last Stand and three Rush Hour movies, says he and returning telecast producer Don Mischer will focus on making the Feb. 26, 2012, ceremony funny — but adds that despite his résumé, we shouldn’t be expecting any action sequences. ”Yes, I’ve done action movies, but I’ve also done dramas like Red Dragon and romances like The Family Man,” he says. ”I have such respect and admiration for the Oscars that I don’t think it’s something that can be reinvented. I’m just a fan.”