Will Smith And Jay-Z Find Their ‘Annie’

Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis has been cast as the remake’s lead role.

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Hushpuppy is heading to the Warbucks mansion!

Beasts of the Southern Wild star and Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis has just been hired for the title role of Annie, Sony Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment announced on Sunday.

The contemporary remake will be produced and directed by Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends With Benefits), along with Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Jay-Z.

“With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star,” Hannah Minghella, President of Production at Sony Pictures said in a statement [via Deadline].

“She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her.”

The 9-year-old actress could make Oscar history on Sunday; she’s up for Best Actress against Emmanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence.

Annie, a longtime Broadway favorite, was adapted into a musical film in 1982, starring Aileen Quinn, Bernadette Peters and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks. There have been multiple versions since, including TV films in 1995 and 1999.

Smith’s daughter Willow was previously considered for the lead role, but eventually grew out of it (she’s 12 now).

 

As longtime Jay-Z fans know, the rapper’s 1998 album, Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life, features the megahit Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem), which samples the beloved Broadway track.

Wallis’s next feature is 12 Years a Slave, co-starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch. The Steve McQueen picture has yet to announce a release date.

The new Annie, based on a screenplay written by Emma Thompson, will be arrive in theaters during the winter holiday season in 2014.

What do you think of Quvenzhané Wallis’ next role? And do you think she’ll take home an Oscar tonight? Weigh in below.

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  • Deedee
    Deedee

    She is so adorable. I hope she wins!

 
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