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Casting Watch: Quvenzhané Wallis for 'Annie,' Saoirse Ronan Joins Ryan Gosling's Directorial Debut, Jennifer Aniston in for Bogdanovich's Latest

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood February 11, 2013 at 2:58PM

Quvenzhané Wallis, the live-wire best actress nominee from "Beasts of the Southern Wild," is in contention to star in a remake of "Annie," directed by Will Gluck ("Easy A"), produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z.
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'Beasts of the Southern Wild'
'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

- Quvenzhané Wallis, the live-wire best actress nominee from "Beasts of the Southern Wild," is in contention to star in a remake of "Annie," directed by Will Gluck ("Easy A"), produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z.  Not too many details on the rehash of the 1982 hit, other than it will take a contemporary setting rather than using the Great Depression as its background. While Will Smith's daughter, Willow, was previously slated for the role, Smith said that his daughter is resisting the pressure of fame at the moment, telling him: "I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.”

S Ronan

- Saoirse Ronan has joined Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, "How to Catch a Monster."  No word yet on details of Ronan's role in the modern day fantasy. The Irish actress starred as the intense young fighter in Joe Wright's "Hanna," and also played the petulant younger sister in Wright's "Atonement."  She has many upcoming projects, including "The Host" (March 29) adapted from the novel by "Twilight" writer Stephenie Meyer, and Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Ronan joins Ben Mendelsohn ("The Dark Knight"), Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men," "Drive"), Eva Mendes, and Matt Smith ("Doctor Who").  The film will begin principal photography this May in Detroit.

- Jennifer Aniston, Eugene Levy, and Kathryn Hahn join Owen Wilson for Peter Bogdanovich's "She's Funny That Way." Formerly called "Squirrel to the Nuts," Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach will produce the film, which also features Olivia Wilde, Brie Larson, Cybil Shepard, and Jason Schwartzman.  Bogdanovich wrote "She's Funny That Way" along with his ex-wife, Louise Stratten.  The movie tells the story of a married Broadway director (Wilson) who falls in love with a former prostitute, turned actress. Principal photography will begin in June in New York.

This article is related to: Christina Ricci, Parker Posey, Saoirse Ronan, Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Aniston, Eugene Levy, Will Smith


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.