Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' 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...

Will Smith Explains Why Willow Smith Dropped Out Of 'Annie' Remake

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 6, 2013 at 7:04PM

In case you missed the announcement last week, Willow Smith, who was to star in the upcoming Annie remake that Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and James Lassiter are producing, with Jay-Z (also one of the film's producers) scoring, is no longer going to star in the film.
21
Jaden And Willow

In case you missed the announcement last week, Willow Smith, who was to star in the upcoming Annie remake that Will SmithJada Pinkett Smith, and James Lassiter are producing, with Jay-Z (also one of the film's producers) scoring, is no longer going to star in the film.

At the time of that post, the answer to the "why" question wasn't public, although I suggested that it may have been because she's out-grown the part (she was 9 when it was first announced that she'd star in the film; she's 12 now).

Skip ahead a few days later, when, addressing the audience at an event called Real Talk with Sister Souljah and Will Smith at Philly's Temple University, poppa Smith said the following about Willow's exit:

"Willow was supposed to be doing 'Annie,' we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with 'Whip My Hair' and she said, 'You know Daddy, I don't think so,' and I said, 'Baby, hold up!' I said, 'No, no, no, listen, you'll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyonce will be there. You will be singing and dancing,' and she looked at me and said, 'Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.'"

He added further...

"The thing that had become very clear to me is the danger of a material world and focusing so hard on coming up with money or a house or a job. You focus so hard on those things, and sometimes you can lose focus on why you are doing it in the first place. The only reason to do any of that is to have love... I'm really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love. Someone's emotional needs can be very, very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be."

So, in a nutshell, Willow just wants to be a kid, like any other I suppose.

I understand. Poppa and Momma Smith probably had all these career plans for the kids, but Willow isn't really up for all that, apparently, which I guess means that Willow will be slowing down a bit - at least for now - and will instead focus on being Willow, a regular 12-year-old kid... with filthy, stinking rich, powerful parents, and the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce hanging around the house.

But seriously... I understand. Do you Willow.

Will Gluck has been tapped to direct the Annie film, which the Smiths are still producing. And as I wondered last week, assuming they still plan to go with a black lead, is this a perfect opening for Quvenzhané Wallis?

A key question will be how well she can carry a tune.

Sony is eyeing a fall production start date, so an actress will be selected likely in the next 6 months; maybe sooner.

Stay tuned.

This article is related to: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Willow Smith


Shadow & ActNewsletter