The announcement creates the prospect that one or both hosts might also be nominees. Franco is considered a solid best actor prospect for the survival drama 127 Hours, while Hathaway has a chance for a best actress slot for the romance Love And Other Drugs.
This is the second straight year the Oscars has had a pair of actors as hosts. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin teamed up as hosts last time.
The move also continues the show's departure from the traditional comedian as host, such as past masters of ceremonies Billy Crystal or David Letterman.