Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall With Cannes Looming, Here's a List of African Diaspora Films That Have Won the Palme d'Or (Have You Seen Them?) With Cannes Looming, Here's a List of African Diaspora Films That Have Won the Palme d'Or (Have You Seen Them?) Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 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 Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring 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...

Willow Smith Will No Longer Star In 'Annie' Remake; Might Quvenzhané Wallis Take Over?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 30, 2013 at 3:11PM

Last we wrote about this project in summer 2012, Emma Thompson, talking to the BBC, said that she'd been writing the script for nearly three years, was excited about it, and was heading to LA to work with Willow Smith (who was to star in the film), and that Jay-Z (who's one of the film's producers) had already started working on the music for it, with a shoot start date aimed for this spring in New York.
13
Willow Smith

Last we wrote about this project in summer 2012, Emma Thompson, talking to the BBC, said that she'd been writing the script for nearly three years, was excited about it, and was heading to LA to work with Willow Smith (who was to star in the film), and that Jay-Z (who's one of the film's producers) had already started working on the music for it, with a shoot start date aimed for this spring in New York.

Skip ahead to today, to the announcement this afternoon that Will Gluck has been tapped by Will Smith and his Overbrook Entertainment producing partners, Jada Pinkett Smith, and James Lassiter, to direct the upcoming Annie remake, which we've been following for about 3 years now, since it was first announced.

But wait! Willow Smith is NO longer going to star in this remake! So, what happened? That answer isn't public yet; but it could very well be that, given how much she's grown up in the last 3 years (and not just physically), she's likely no longer fit for the role. 

So what does that mean for casting? Will the Smiths stay with a black girl in the lead, and cast another young black actress? Your guess is as good as mine.

By the way, who's WIll Gluck? He directed Easy A and Friends with Benefits. 2 modestly-budgeted films that did well enough at the box office.

So this ends a director search that had been going on for a quite a while.

Previously, Aline Brosh McKenna, the screenwriter for The Devil Wears Prada, and We Bought A Zoohad been brought on to rewrite the screenplay for the project.

McKenna would reportedly use both the Broadway musical and the comic strips that first introduced Annie, as sources for the screenplay adaptation - a story that we last heard will be set in DetroitMichigan.

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.

Craig Brewer's name was also once in the mix. 

As you can see, there apparently wasn't a single black director considered for the job... at least, none whose name has been made public, so I'm going solely based on available info.

As director, Gluck will now revise the existing script, with Sony eyeing a fall production start date, for a release some time in 2014.

Quvenzhane

The film will include some of the old Annie songs, but some will also be cut to make way for Jay-Z's reworking of the soundtrack.

When asked about 11-year-old Willow, Thompson replied last year, "I really like Willow. She is getting so tall."

Yeah, she's probably too tall now; although she's still only 12 years old. The original Annie in the Broadway musical that the film is based on, was 11.

I'm going to say it here first folks, with Willow Smith now out, is this a perfect opening for a rising star in Quvenzhané Wallis, who'll be 10 years old by the time shooting starts this fall, and has the more baby-like, little girl features that the role might call for?

I think Willow, despite being 12, may be too *grown* for this. And what other young black actress in that age group is hotter than Ms Wallis right now, with an Academy Award nomination on her resume, for her awesome work in 2012's indie film darling, Beasts of the Southern Wild?

A key question will be how well she can carry a tune... but it seems like a no-brainer at this point, doesn't it?

Stay tuned.

This article is related to: Willow Smith, Quvenzhané Wallis


Shadow & ActNewsletter