'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Star Quvenzhane Wallis to Replace Willow Smith in 'Annie'

The Oscar-nominated actress is in contention for the title role in director Will Gluck's musical, produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Quvenzhane Wallis is in contention to star in the Annie remake
Quvenzhane Wallis is in contention to star in the Annie remake
Beasts of the Southern Wild star and Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis is a top contender to replace Willow Smith in Sony's upcoming Annie remake. We reported last week that the musical gained a director in Will Gluck, but, at the same time, Willow Smith is no longer playing the young orphan.

We first reported on this project back in January 2011, with Willow Smith starring and her father, Will Smith, producing through his Overbrook Entertainment company. Here's what Will Smith recently had to say about his daughter dropping out, during an event at Temple University.

"Willow was supposed to be doing Annie. We got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with 'Whip my Hair' and she said, 'You know Daddy, I don't think so. I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.'"


Studio reps insist that the part has not been cast yet. The remake will be based on the musical stage play created by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, and Martin Charnin, although it will be a revamped, modern-day version of the story, with Jay-Z providing brand new music. The original musical followed Annie as she escapes from her orphanage and is rescued by Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks.

Will Gluck is directing and revising the screenplay by Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna. The producers are eying a fall production start.

Annie comes to theaters December 19th, 2014 and stars Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Quvenzhané Wallis, David Zayas, Daniel Flaherty. The film is directed by Will Gluck.



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Comments (15)

  1. Rudy

    Good for her. She's shown that she can act. Has Willow shown that she can act besides whipping her hair?

    2 years agoby @rudyFlag

  2. Monkeyiron 2.0

    Now that's better I mean who wants to see Annie whip her hair

    2 years agoby @monkeyiron2-0Flag

  3. thedude-abides

    Now that's what I call an upgrade, although Jay-Z's involvement is enough to scoff at this seemingly unnecessary project.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  4. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Am i the only one curious as to which other remake Will wants to do ? You know, change the race of the character and all

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  5. TheRingFan1

    @paul-aaron-praster-sr Your grammar offended me. I understand this isn't english class, but I didn't understand a word of what you were trying to say at first.

    On to the topic. I think this is a wise decision, a different POV of the story of Annie. Kind of like The Wiz. I don't know if I would pay to see this though.

    2 years agoby @theringfan1Flag

  6. ejk1

    And for the record, I agree with @narrator. Like the new A Star Is Born, there is no reason to do Annie again. It's been done before, multiple times.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  7. ejk1

    @paul-aaron-praster-sr I laughed at you for a good minute or two. Thanks for that.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  8. Vanboy

    @the narator, the comic character little orphan Annie was white. I agree whith your last sentence. Of course Jiz-z is making the movie. Daddy Warbucks will probably be played by Denzel. He can pretty much play any part on Earth.

    2 years agoby @vanboyFlag

  9. Adamsandlerfggot69

    @paul-aaron-praster-sr
    Thanks for letting us know!

    2 years agoby @adamsandlerfggot69Flag

  10. the Narrator

    The whole black or white thing isn't an issue, or at least, it shouldn't be. Annie isn't a character, like, say Thor. She doesn't have to be inherently white like Bond or Legolas. Her skin color was never a character-defining trait. Anyone looking to start something can cheese it on out of here. I just think this entire project is unnecessary.

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  11. Dan

    @paul-aaron-praster-sr Predagest? lol. I think you mean prejudiced?

    2 years agoby @dan1Flag

  12. Paul Aaron Praster SR

    well just to let everyone know i will not even watch this movie annie is a little red headed white girl i wont even let my kids watch it this movie is going to be stupid dont get me wrong i am not predagest at all but do not put a little black girl in remake to the the main start is a red head white girls sorry if i offended anyone

    2 years agoby @paul-aaron-praster-srFlag

  13. B. Alan Orange

    Orphans is orphans, whether they be black or white.

    2 years agoby @balanorangeFlag

  14. the Narrator

    She's a better choice, but this is such an unnecessary project. Boo..

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  15. artkid04

    haven't seen Beasts of the southern wild yet but i think she may be good. I mean i know annie was originally white but there is a black spiderman now so why not annie

    2 years agoby @artkid04Flag