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Will Smith, Jay-Z to Produce New Film Adaptation of 'Annie'
For those of us who grew up in the 1980s worshiping all things "Annie," it is with mixed feelings that we receive the news that the classic film is being remade to appeal to a new generation.
Deadline reports that Will Gluck, who directed "Friends With Benefits," will helm the new adaptation of the tale of the orphan who's taken in by a billionaire. Producers on the film include Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, and Jay-Z.
The screenplay, which Gluck will revise, was written by Emma Thompson originally.
Willow Smith was reportedly signed on to play Annie when the film was first in talks, but has since outgrown the role.
This is Jay-Z's company's first foray into film. The rapper famously sampled "It's a Hard Knock Life" for his 1998 hit "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)," and he told the media that:
"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."
Annie was originally a Broadway show that opened in 1977. The first movie adaptation was released by Columbia Pictures in 1982. The film starred Aileen Quinn as Annie. Quinn has gone on to appear in several other movies and TV shows, but has kept a low profile.
With Willow Smith out of the picture, commenters over at Deadline speculated that Quvenzhané Wallis, who is the youngest ever nominee for a Best Actress Oscar for her role in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," will take her place.