ANNIE Remake from Will Smith & Jay-Z May Tap Emma Thompson to Write Screenplay
Published: June 24, 2011 - 1:11pm
The award-winning Nanny McPhee screenwriter/actress may be in the running to pen Columbia Pictures' updated version of the broadway classic Annie starring Willow Smith.
Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have formed a joint venture with Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter to develop and produce major motion pictures. One of the projects being discussed is the re-imagination of the classic Broadway musical ANNIE as a vehicle for Willow Smith to star. The film will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Mr. Carter.
The Broadway musical Annie is based upon the popular comic strip and features songs with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan. The show originally pened on April 21, 1977, and immediately became a hit, winning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In 1982, Columbia Pictures released a film adaptation directed by John Huston and starring Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Tim Curry, and Aileen Quinn as Annie.
Thompson has currently been working with Will Smith on the set of Men in Black III as Agent O. Rumors abound that she might also be gunning for the role of slave-driving, drunkard orphanage director Miss Hannigan made famous previously by Carol Burnett.
Additionally, Willow Smith, managed by OE Executive Miguel Melendez, signed onto JAY-Z’s record label, Roc Nation which produced her first single titled “Whip My Hair” has been certified Platinum. JAY-Z previously sampled the classic Annie song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” in his chart-busting single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).”
“The time is right to bring back ANNIE to the big screen. Of course, we’re true believers in Willow's talent and believe she will be perfect in this role,” said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad. “Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular JAY-Z makes this a dream project.”