9:26 pm - 01/31/2013

Willow Smith Will No Longer Star In 'Annie' Remake, Who Should Take Over?

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 Zoo, had 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 Detroit, Michigan.

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.

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. hen 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?


Before anyone suggests her, Amandla Stenberg is too old
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tankmachine 31st-Jan-2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
televisionism 31st-Jan-2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
The sun will come out on Friday
devochkazhenya 31st-Jan-2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
bet your bottom dollar we'll be partying partying yeah
sandvich 31st-Jan-2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
Is she wearing a leather jacket with an enormous, poofy leather skirt, or is it all the coat?

On-topic, it would be great to see Quvenzhané do Annie next. Can she sing, though?
okgoawaynow 31st-Jan-2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
On-topic, it would be great to see Quvenzhané do Annie next. Can she sing, though?

Omg, that would be amazing! I don't know if she can sing though.
butt_or_skotch 1st-Feb-2013 01:00 am (UTC)
Yes, that would be cute! And she can sing. http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50573202#50573202
whatyawaiting4 1st-Feb-2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
She was absolutely the first person I thought. Adorable/lovable as hell and the perfect age. She really might not be able to sing though...
morgan90 31st-Jan-2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
Willow Smith is exactly like a what I'd expect a fabulously wealthy child with zero boundaries to behave/look like
crispy1088 31st-Jan-2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
I agree. Her sperm and egg donors are a mess.

Edited at 2013-01-31 10:20 pm (UTC)
tiddlywinks103 31st-Jan-2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
So dramatic.

Because if you want to get serious, Drew Barrymore's stint in rehab before the age of 12 is really a prime example of your asininely utilized phrase.
distinguetraces 31st-Jan-2013 11:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can't really agree.

Both Smith kids seem to have gotten the idea that you apply yourself and develop skills and enjoy your opportunities to the fullest.

Who knows what lurks behind closed doors (theirs, yours, or mine) but on the public evidence, the kids make closeted-Scientology freakdom look like an ok child-rearing approach.
noneformethanx 31st-Jan-2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
The adorable little girl from the beasts of the southern wild would be a good match for this movie
teamdowney 1st-Feb-2013 03:14 am (UTC)
I thought of her too! I don't remember how to spell her name but because of that adorable video where she says her name I now know how to say it.
devochkazhenya 31st-Jan-2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Quvenzhané Wallis? Idk if she can sing though
treebraids 31st-Jan-2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
there is a video of her singing a few scrolls down. She can hold a tune.
noneformethanx GODDESS31st-Jan-2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Uploaded with Imgupr
uztawkin2me Re: GODDESS31st-Jan-2013 11:56 pm (UTC)
whatyawaiting4 Re: GODDESS1st-Feb-2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
My god, this girls future is so bright it's making me cry a little bit.

I may still be a little drunk though.
chandyland11 31st-Jan-2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
I realized for the first time ever a few days ago that Willow and Jaden were named after their parents. I felt SO stupid. I NEVER GOT IT.
lovepollution 31st-Jan-2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
OMG, why did I never notice that?!
therearewords 31st-Jan-2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
I see the light.
nothingcleva89 31st-Jan-2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
I didn't notice that until now...
coconutoil 31st-Jan-2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
oh wow. oh shit.
ms_mmelissa 31st-Jan-2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
Obvious answer is obvious: Queen Qwall.

if_musicbe 31st-Jan-2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
Is there anything she can't do?! <3
treebraids 31st-Jan-2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
I'm pleasantly surprised.
bodylikemind 31st-Jan-2013 10:46 pm (UTC)
OMG SHE'S ADORABLE also i like china too
manubibi 31st-Jan-2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
Aw, I'm genuinely disappointed about this. I like Willow.
manubibi 31st-Jan-2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, apparently everyone thought of her before me! XD
littleonelychee 31st-Jan-2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
no one, because annie is shit.
dfabb 31st-Jan-2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
Idc if she's too old for the role, she is flawless <3
mistycreed 31st-Jan-2013 10:55 pm (UTC)
omg yes
d00ditsemily 31st-Jan-2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
Amanda doesn't look too old tho. She looks much younger than Willow and I think she's shorter as well.
jonesingjay 31st-Jan-2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
she's looking very matrixy.

and, this movie shouldn't be remade.
mots_inutiles 31st-Jan-2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
This was my first thought. Like, she stole Neo's clothes?
boku_no_hanabi 31st-Jan-2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
I am here to say I cannot stand Willow Smith. Or either of those celebuspawn tbh.
kimmy_kun 31st-Jan-2013 10:16 pm (UTC)

I like her outfit, tho.
crispy1088 31st-Jan-2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
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