The announcement is thought to be a move by producers to attract a younger generation of film fan to the Oscars.
Both actors are currently starring in movies that have been tipped to do well at next February’s prize-giving. Franco, 32, is winning rave reviews for his performance in 127 Hours, Danny Boyle’s gritty retelling of a hikers struggle to escape from a canyon by cutting off his own arm. The scene in which Franco saws off his limb is said to be both graphic and excellent.
Hathaway, 28 (who shot to fame after playing that really annoying girl in Devil Wears Prada) is also gaining plaudits for her portrayal of a free-spirited woman who falls for a drug salesman in Love and Other Drugs.