Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Maya Rudolph Mocks Rachel Dolezal on 'Late Night' Maya Rudolph Mocks Rachel Dolezal on 'Late Night' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Petition Launched to Push UK Theater Chains to Screen 'Dear White People' Petition Launched to Push UK Theater Chains to Screen 'Dear White People' Miles Morales Is Indeed Your New Spider-Man Miles Morales Is Indeed Your New Spider-Man Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Updates On Smith Family "Annie" Project (Writer, Dates, Location)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 6, 2011 at 3:54AM

The last word on this, in June, was that Brit actress/writer Emma Thompson was "in contention" to pen the screenplay of the updated adaptation of the Broadway classic musical Annie, with Willow Smith in the title role, and poppa and momma Smith producing under their Overbrook Entertainment banner, in a joint venture with Jay-Z, who will also produce the soundtrack for the film.
3

The last word on this, in June, was that Brit actress/writer Emma Thompson was "in contention" to pen the screenplay of the updated adaptation of the Broadway classic musical Annie, with Willow Smith in the title role, and poppa and momma Smith producing under their Overbrook Entertainment banner, in a joint venture with Jay-Z, who will also produce the soundtrack for the film.

Prior to that news, Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, dropped out of contention for the writing/directing job, despite being poppa Smith's top choice for the gig.

Well, 2 months later, Murphy himself confirms that Emma Thompson is no longer "in contention" and actually has been hired to pen the screenplay, though it doesn't look like she'll also direct.

Murphy let the news slip, telling Deadline:

"They are doing a movie version and I loved the idea that Jay Z was going to do the music. I met with Jay and talked to him about it. I wanted to write the script and direct it. And then (Murphy's new TV project) American Horror got picked up and Willow is a certain age and you need a script by November. I didn't think I could do it. So now she's (Pinkett Smith) got Emma Thompson, who is 50 million times better than me. Love her. I wish I could have had the time to do it. The thing that was the biggest turn on for me was Jay. We talked about how we were going to set it (Annie) in Detroit."

So, we learn a few things from that quote: First, yes, Emma Thompson is onboard; second, they want a script delivered by November, which means that this could be going in front of cameras sooner than we think; and lastly, they are setting the story in Detroit, Michigan. The original took place in New York City I believe.

No director has officially been attached yet.

Thompson's credits are impressive - nominated multiple times for Academy Awards, winning twice in the 1990s - one for Best Actress in 1992 for her performance in Howards End, and the other for Best Adapted Screenplay for penning the Sense and Sensibility script in 1995.

This article is related to: Coming Soon, FYI, casting


Shadow & ActNewsletter