The beat goes on for the Smith Family's 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.

Last we reported on this, Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, dropped out of contention for the directing job, despite being poppa Smith's top choice for the gig. His replacement hasn't been announced yet, but Big Willie continues to push forward, with the latest news being that he and Jay-Z are "in negotiations" with Brit actress/writer Emma Thompson to pen the screenplay of the updated musical.

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.