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.