Tonight’s casting report is led by two actors who have starred in an FX drama:
- Charlie Hunnam is attached to star in Triple Nine, a crime thriller directed by John Hillcoat (Lawless). Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett are in talks to join the cast.
- Rose Byrne is in talks to join Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz in Annie, a new adaptation of the Broadway musical directed by Will Gluck (Easy A).
Hit the jump for details on both projects.
We heard earlier this month that Sandra Bullock was in early negotiations to play Miss Hannigan in the Annie remake. Bullock passed, but director Will Gluck (Easy A) found another star to fill her shoes. Deadline reports that Cameron Diaz has signed a deal to play the mean owner of the orphanage that shows young Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) the hard knock life. Diaz is maybe one step below the Oscar winner, but a fine comic actress nonetheless. Carol Burnett played Miss Hannigan in the 1982 feature adaptation of the Broadway musical.
Jamie Foxx is set to play the modern Daddy Warbucks, a wealthy New York City mayoral candidate named Benjamin Stacks who adopts Annie. Jay-Z and Will Smith are on board as producers. Annie is scheduled for release on December 25, 2014.
With a fall start on the horizon, casting is moving along on Will Gluck‘s remake of Annie. For those unfamiliar with the classic musical, it centers on the eponymous orphan who is adopted by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks. Quvenzhane Wallis is set to lead the film, and Jamie Foxx signed on back in April to play the Daddy Warbucks character, now called “Benjamin Stacks” and a NYC mayoral candidate in this updated version. According to TheWrap, Sandra Bullock is now in early talks to play Miss Hannigan, the mean lady who runs the poor orphanage, and inspires kids to sing about a hard-knock life. Carol Burnett played the role in the 1982 version, and Bullock seems like a great fit for the comic role. Produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z, Annie is set to open on December 25, 2014.
Bullock will be playing both comedy and drama this year with two great-looking films. First up is the female-led buddy-cop flick The Heat with Melissa McCarthy, and then in October she’ll be in Alfonso Cuaron‘s sci-fi movie, Gravity.
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.
It’s been a few months since we last heard about the Annie remake, developed by Will Smith as a starring vehicle for daughter Willow. At the time, Glee creator Ryan Murphy was mentioned as the frontrunner to direct. Smith and co-producer Jay-Z probably missed the chance to squeeze the shoot into the Glee spring/summer production hiatus between season two and three. To do so they would have needed a script. On that front, Vulture hears Smith and Jay-Z are in negotiations Oscar-winning screenwriter Emma Thompson to write the musical. Presumably, the topic came up as Smith and Thompson shared a break on the set of Men in Black III.
Vulture actively lobbies for Thompson to tailor the role of drunk orphanage director Miss Hannigan for Oscar-winning actor Emma Thompson; I co-sign. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the 1982 movie.
It’s official: the Will Smith/Jay-Z Annie remake is going into production. One week ago, we reported that the pair were in talks to revamp the classic property as a starring vehicle for Smith’s daughter Willow. At that time, however, it was believed that Jay-Z’s contribution would be confined to the film’s music. The press release we received today, though, confirms that the self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” will team-up with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment as a co-producer on the project. In addition to Overbrook and Jay-Z’s (a.k.a. Shawn Carter) involvement, Sony Pictures Entertainment will help develop the Annie remake.
For more on the project, hit the jump to check out the full press release.