“Annie ” will be coming to theaters in 2014, but Willow Smith will no longer be the star. The little pop princess was originally attached to the film, but at the time she was nine years old. Her parents, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith were producers on the film along with the head of her record label, Jay-Z. But, the nine year old has grown into a teeneager, therefore, she is not young enough to play the part any longer. But…the show must go on. (May I suggest Quevahzhane Wallis???)
According to Deadline, Sony Pictures announced today, that they have selected a director for the re-imagining of this broadway musical. Will Gluck, the director of Easy A and Friends With Benefits will take on the project along with producers James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through their Overbrook Entertainment banner, and by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media. This is Jay-Z’s first time producing a major motion picture.
Gluck will revise the film’s screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna.. That’s based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip. The movie is contemporized and will shoot in the fall for a 2014 release.
Jay Z, who previously sampled the classic Annie song It’s The Hard Knock Life in Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem), stated,
“For Marcy Media’s first foray into film, we couldn’t ask for better partners and mentors than Overbrook Entertainment. We are excited to work with Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment. My well-known affinity for the classic ‘Hard Knock Life’ makes Annie a natural vehicle to lead us into the world of the cinema.”
Picture above is the first from Overbrook’s feature partnership with Carter, a union that also included the Broadway hit Fela!