There are many great things in Beasts of the Southern Wild, but Quvenzhané Wallis is the greatest. Upon seeing the movie, I hoped Hollywood would find a place for her raw star power. The Oscar nomination for Best Actress should help launch her, but there are more Keisha Castle-Hugheses than Anna Paquins among young Oscar nominees. The most promising news yet is that Wallis will indeed headline the remake of Annie, following up on the speculative report from earlier in the month. Can she sing? I have no idea, but I can’t wait to see Wallis try. The prospects of an Annie remake are iffy in a vacuum, but Jay-Z is curating the music and director Will Gluck (Easy A) is a good choice to make a musical with bite, so there is reason for optimism.
Will Smith, James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay Brown, Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith, and Jay-Z will produce. Gluck is currently rewriting the script for a Winter 2014 release. Hit the jump for the press release with all the details.
Okay, so I have some idea if Wallis can sing. This sounds pretty good:
Here’s the press release:
QUVENZHANÉ WALLIS TO PLAY ANNIE FOR OVERBROOK ENTERTAINMENT, MARCY MEDIA AND SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
CULVER CITY, Calif., February 24, 2013 – Overbrook Entertainment, Marcy Media, director Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment have cast Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, the star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, in the title role of Annie, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of Production for the studio.
Commenting on the announcement, Minghella said, “With the recent Academy Award® nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star. She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her.”
Annie will be released during the winter holiday season in 2014. The film is being directed by Gluck and produced by James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through Overbrook Entertainment, and by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media. Gluck is currently revising the film’s screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical stage play “Annie,” book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and on “Little Orphan Annie,” © and ® Tribune Media Services, Inc. The film is being overseen at the studio by Andrea Giannetti and Devon Franklin.
QUVENZHANÉ WALLIS’ favorite pastimes are reading, singing, dancing, acting, and playing her iPod and Nintendo DS. Her favorite TV stars/singers are China McClain, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus. Her favorite sports are basketball, volleyball, dance and cheerleading. Her upcoming films include a role in Twelve Years a Slave with Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and director Steve McQueen.