Development on Sony’s musical remake of Annie continues, and the project has both gained and lost a player. The project was first announced in early 2011 with Will Smith and Jay-Z producing the redo as a starring vehicle for Smith’s daughter Willow Smith. Willow is now 12 years old and has since outgrown the lead role, so she is no longer attached to star. However, movement on the project continues as Easy A and Friends with Benefits helmer Will Gluck is now in negotiations to direct. Hit the jump for more.
A couple weeks ago, we reported that Will Smith and Jay-Z were teaming up to produce a “re-imagination” of the Broadway musical Annie starring Smith’s daughter Willow. The young Smith already has an obnoxious pop single with “Whip My Hair” so she can apparently handle a musical. Deadline is now reporting that Sony wants Glee creator Ryan Murphy to direct the flick. For those unfamiliar with Annie, the story is set during the Great Depression and centers on a spunky 11-year-old redhead named Annie who is adopted by kindly billionaire Daddy Warbucks. The musical was based on the comic Little Orphan Annie. The character has traditionally been white, but nothing prevents the character from being black provided you move the time to post-integration. Otherwise, if you keep it set during the Great Depression, it seems like you’re saying, “Black children have always been treated equally as white children! What’s Jim Crow?”
Hit the jump for more on Murphy and his other potential projects.
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.
Will Smith developed a remake of The Karate Kid for son Jaden, and it was the surprise hit of the summer with a sequel on the way. But the Fresh Prince is not one to play favorites with his offspring. Let’s see, what 1980s film would be perfect for a gift to daughter Willow Smith? Oh, of course: Annie. The property originated in 1924 as Little Orphan Annie, a comic strip about a parentlessly plucky young redhead. And the Broadway musical opened in 1977. But the film based on the musical premiered in 1982, so it counts.
The idea of “The Smiths Present Annie” is plenty entertaining on its own. But gee whiskers, it gets better: Jay-Z is in talks to collaborate on the music. Details after the jump: