Will Smith is Developing ANNIE Remake for Daughter Willow Smith; Jay-Z Might Collaborate on the Music

by     Posted 3 years, 215 days ago

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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:

There is context to Jay-Z’s involvement, of course.  Willow Smith reached #11 on the Billboard Top 100 with “Whip My Hair” earlier this year.  Jay-Z was apparently a fan and signed her to his label Roc Nation.  Plus, the rapper has a history with Annie: he sampled one of the musical’s signature songs for “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).”annie-poster

According to Variety‘s report, the project is in the very early stages of development at Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment.  It is not clear if there will be any original songs, or if this is a contemporary version of Annie.

If you ask me, they should absolutely keep it set during the 1920s to lend sinister racist undertones to the entire race-switching premise.

Here’s the synopsis for the 1982 film:

During the Great Depression in New York City, a plucky red-haired scrapper named Annie (Aileen Quinn) is the voice of hope for her fellow orphans who live under the supervision of drunken floozy Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett). Annie’s spirit is fueled by the belief that her real parents dropped her off at the orphanage with a half of a locket, promising to return for her with the other half. One day, the dingy orphanage is visited by the sophisticated Grace Farrell (Ann Reinking), personal secretary to conservative politician Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney). In order to improve his image, Grace brings Annie to the Warbucks estate for a weeklong visit. Annie quickly wins the hearts of servants and politicians alike, eventually even bringing her song of hope, “Tomorrow,” to President Roosevelt in Washington. Warbucks and Grace even go so far as to perform a public search for Annie’s parents, creating an opportunity for Miss Hannigan, Rooster (Tim Curry), and Lily (Bernadette Peters) to scam their way to the reward money. [Fandango]


For comparison, here’s the film’s version of “It’s the Hard Knock Life” followed by Jay-Z’s ghetto anthem.

Umm, you may actually be crazy for this one, Jay.




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  • Strong Enough

    that hard knock life song made his album go Diamond. 10 million sold

    • http://twitter.com/#!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

      It’s a great song.

  • Wolstenholme

    This is disgusting. Annie is a classic that should be left alone. Fuck anything and everything related to the Smith family

    • michael

      Relax. If you aren’t going to like it, then don’t see it…pretty simple :)

    • ShanaK79

      Well first off wat up wit da rasits stop being so mean.Wolstenholme don’t hate appreacite keep ur rude ass comments to yourself. how do u hate them if u don’t know them. they could be da nicest people in da world but u wouldn’t know.
      as for da smith i think they are very talanted. Nothen but LOVE for them.

  • Collin V.

    Seriously? He’s already whored out his son with The Karate Kid. Is this really necessary?

  • Dannii

    This is a HIDEOUS idea! I’m not sure I can imagine anything worse!

  • Bogie

    WTF! Is Will Smith planning on ruining all classic movies with his horrid off spring? I’m amazed that people are stupid enough to buy this crap.

  • bond55

    I SUPPOSE IT IS OK WHEN RELATIVES OF NICOLAS CAGE GETS HIM IN THE BUSINESS,WHEN SOFFIA COPPOLA’S RELATIVE HELPS HER,WHEN HENRY FONDA AND JANE FONDA GOT THEIR RELATIVES IN THE BUSINESS,WHEN GOLDIE HAWN HELPED GET HER DAUGHTER(KATE HUSDON) IN THE BUSINESS(THE LIST GOES ON) BUT GOD FORBID A POWERFUL AND ACCOMPLISHED AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE CELEBRUTY IN HOLLYWOOD HELPS HIS CHILDREN BECOME SUCCESSFUL IN HOLLYWOOD SO THEY DO NOT END UP BECOME SPOILED AND SELFISH TRUST FUND KIDS AND HE IS TEACHING THEM HOW TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES AND CREATE A FUTURE FOR THEMSELVES INSTEAD OF ALWAYS RUNNING TO DADDY FOR MONEY.WHAT A HORRIBLE PERSON HE IS TO TEACH HIS KIDS TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL TO HOPEFULLY POSSIBLY EVEN REPEAT HIS SUCCESS.I WISH MY FATHER CARED ABOUT ME THAT MUCH TO DO WHAT HE IS DOING FOR THEM. FOR ALL OF YOU HATERS OUT THERE I RESPECT WHAT HE IS DOING AND THINK THAT YOU HATERS OUT THERE ARE MORE JEALOUS THAN ANYTHING ELSE. BECAUSE I WOULD HATE TO THINK THAT THESE ARE COMMENTS COMING OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF RACIST BIGOTS SO I HAVE TO DRAW THE CONCLUSION THE HATRED COMES FROM JEALOUSLY UNLESS YOU ARE RACIST BIGOTS AND YOU OPENLY HATE AFRICAN AMERICANS

    NEVER HEARD COMPLAINTS ABOUT GOLDIE HAWN HELPING HER DAUGHTER GET INTO THE BUSINESS OR WHEN MILEY CYRUS’S FATHER HELPED HER GET INTO SHOW BUSINESS. IMAGINE THAT!

    • junierizzle

      Bond55

      You’re right. I am jealous. I wish I didn’t have to worry about money or finding a job. I wish my dad gave me a job that literally thousands of people want. And no I am not racist. I wish Goldie Hawn was my mom and helped me out. I wish Billy Ray Cyrus was my dad and helped me out. I wish I had parents that took hard work out of the equation.
      In fact I wish any parent pf ANY RACE who was in a postion of power was my parent. Then I could fall ass backwards into a great job.

      It isn’t about race. It’s about kids not paying there dues getting all the reward. Black kids, white kids, hispanic kids, asian kids, indian kids…………………..

    • The people above me are wrong

      “BUT GOD FORBID A POWERFUL AND ACCOMPLISHED AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE CELEBRUTY IN HOLLYWOOD HELPS HIS CHILDREN BECOME SUCCESSFUL IN HOLLYWOOD”

      Here we go with people instantly insinuating racism if you don’t bow down and praise a movie that is awful. I’m not sure where race was even mentioned as a factor. The Karate Kid remake was awful, it was an unnecessary film that brought literally nothing good except Jackie Chan.

      Annie with Willow Smith will undoubtedly be awful, and it has nothing to do with race. There’s a ton of young talented actresses who make it their lives to hone their acting ability, who go to school for it and don’t just dabble in it or beg dad to put them in a movie so they have something to do on the weekend.

      Get over yourself with the racist accusations, no one cares what race anyone is anymore except black people who immediately call white people racist if they don’t accept the trash media they produce and grovel and praise it. Very egotistical black people.

  • booth

    @bond55

    Let him help his kids out, with original ideas. I am against him going out and remaking some of the classic movies that I grew up loving. With all his money and power, I’m sure he can pick up an original script for his kids. Stop ruining yesterdays classics to please his spoiled kids.

  • Brett

    I wouldn’t mind him helping his kids out if they had talent… and if he wasn’t trying to remake classic movies. If him and his ugly brood were so talented, they’d be making new, original classics instead of trying to remake white ones.

  • K3V

    Annie for real what the hell i refused to go see his remake of the karate kid because i grew up loving the film and refused to believe that Jackie Chan sold out so fast. now he is remaking Annie for his whip her hair back daughter , who has no talent at all with singing hence she is attoune tune to all hell in her song the original move made Carrol Burnett a bonnafied star! btw i agree with @ Booth come up with something new leave the greats be

    • AliveAndWell

      You refuse to go see it, and guess what? No one cares.

  • Alex-mansy

    Firstly that jay z song sucks.

    Secondly, this is good idea mainly due to Annie being underseen as a musical. It would be good to see a reimagining.

    Saying that, there is no proof Willow, can act or sing. But I think with the right people, we’ll get a nice blast to the past.

    Also please with the depression set era. Annie is high fantasy and nothing to do with reality. It’s comic, ebullient songs will get crushed if the film is too gritty. I say keep it modern.

  • Raptor_Obama

    Wow I wish big Willie Style was my Dad.

  • Websky

    Creating movies for your kids and/or making them pop stars isn’t teaching them to fend for themselves. This is the way they end up being spoiled and selfish.

    I believe in having auditions and giving parts to the most talented actor. Apparently Jaden did that though I have to wonder how true that really is. Willow may have a great voice, but she is famous because of the producers, writers, labels and her parents. If she becomes Annie, then i’ll be completely convinced that Jaden didn’t earn his parts either.

    And I have always felt the same way about Kate Hudson, who smiled just like her mom in Almost Famous and annoyingly won the hearts of moviegoers. She wasn’t even original and is a mediocre actor.

    Nicolas Cage started with smaller T.V. roles and supporting roles, ultimately earning his way to major lead roles. That to me is much different than being handed a lead in a major blockbuster as your first film.

  • Cordell

    Stop all the bigoted and jealous comments concerning Will Smith and his children, he is no different from other famous actors that have passed on film roles and jobs to their kids and let the WORK and QUALITY of the film stand on its own. Jaden was fantastic in Karate Kid, he demonstrated acting chops and true charisma in the remake of Karate Kid. I expect Willow to have similar success in her first acting role.

  • Joseph Eli Williams

    Here’s what naysayers seem to forget: Will Smith made his son go through all the training necessary to make the part convincing and thoroughly believable. If you compare the martial arts scenes involving Ralph in the original and Jaden in the 2010 version…..ummmm Jaden wins hands down. Thats a credit to Jackie, Will, Jada and also Jaden for his effort. Heck watch the film and through the credits you’ll see photos of Will and Jada behind the scenes encouraging and instructing their son. Doesn’t sound like a free pass to me.

    Final point: anyone notice that Will hasnt done a film since 2008 when he did Hancock (pretty good) and Seven Pounds (decent)?!?! Its because of his focus on his kids apparently, because they BOTH are excelling and doing well. How about congratulating successful parents (thus far) and responsible and talented children who seem to have their heads on straight (again, so far)? Negativity gets on my LAST nerve geezzzz lol

    • Andrew

      Are you kidding me? He made his son go thru KUNG FU training for a movie called the KARATE KID which had NO KARATE IN IT….had a guy from Hong Kong playing a Japanese character…this is a joke. The movie was bad…really bad, a spit in the face of the Original which is a classic. Not only did they change the race of the character but they changed everything that made it good….great acting, great directing, and great fighting..

      Now Will Smith wants his talentless daughter to ruin another classic? She has no talent, “Whip my Hair” is one of the worst songs of all time….but hey lets take another white movie and recast it as a black person…how is she supposed to whip her hair back and forth in a red wig?

      I nominate Nicolas Cage’s son for the remake of Shaft.

      P.S. His kids are not excelling they are sucking…

      • Dizzy

        Lmao! I thoroughly enjoy watching white people flip their shit over things like this

        the subtext:

        “HEY! these are WHITE classics!! I grew up with these! I know a remake won’t effect my enjoyment of the original, but I don’t want the new generation of kids – MY kids – growing up thinking Annie and The Karate Kid are BLACKS!!! I already have to lie to them about who this darkie is on TV people are calling “the President”, and now this??? Damn these new-age **N*GGERS** with money….*FUMES*, I’m going to… have a… jdfsng349u3w9###22%%%!!!…..”

        said in actual context:

        “THAT’S A **HORRRRIBLE** IDEA!! F*CK WILL SMITH AND F*CK HIS KIDS!!!”

        I literally, giggle reading this.

  • minion

    Wil Smith certainly isn’t the only one trying to buy their kid fame. This is just emblematic of a lot of “famous” rich people, who try to purchase an acting career for their kid, even though their kid may have the talent of a hairball. The Smith kids definitely seem to fall into that category as does Kate Hudson.

  • O.R.

    When I saw “Will Smith” and “Annie” on Rotten Tomatoes, I totally imagined Jayden playing Annie. Now _THAT_ would be fun.

  • Dizzy

    Lmao! I thoroughly enjoy watching white people flip their shit over things like this

    the subtext:

    “HEY! these are WHITE classics!! I grew up with these! I know a remake won’t effect my enjoyment of the original, but I don’t want the new generation of kids – MY kids – growing up thinking Annie and The Karate Kid are BLACKS!!! I already have to lie to them about who this darkie is on TV people are calling “the President”, and now this??? Damn these new-age **N*GGERS** with money….*FUMES*, I’m going to… have a… jdfsng349u3w9###22%%%!!!…..”

    said in actual context:

    “THAT’S A **HORRRRIBLE** IDEA!! F*CK WILL SMITH AND F*CK HIS KIDS!!!”

    I literally, giggle reading this.

    • Andrew

      You have issues….serious ones…i bet you would be the first in line to complain if they remade Shaft staring a White man…those damn whiteys…..

      • Dizzy

        LOL!! that’d be Hilarious!! I’d be first in line with A TICKET in my hand I printed early off Fandango!!

    • junierizzle

      Yo Dizzy, is this your first time on a film site??

      Believe it or not film nerds really dislike it when films they love get remade. I guarantee you that the backlash would be the same if little Willow and Big Willy were white.

      Yes, racism still exists. There will always be racism but I seriously doubt racists are on a Filmnerd site.

      • AliveAndWell

        Wow. You are blind then.

  • Pingback: Will Smith and Jay-Z Team-Up for ANNIE Remake

  • brobrobro

    “Annie” in black version? Now I’m curious :) I think Mo’nique will play the mean lady at the orphanage very well.

    • Dizzy

      Lol, either you’re being sarcastic, as you know “Mo’nique” is one of the worst people on earth and has been associated with every horrible black movie ever made..

      …Or you’ve seen Precious, and you realize that even though she is just awful in general, she actually *would* probably make an amazing mean orphanage lady

  • miagi

    I agree with someone up there.. I was cool with him till he remade karate kid which never came close to the original and it’s already forgotten about. The worst thing is his gonna make a sequel

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