Annie Remake in the works

January 28, 2011

Willow Smith (bottom center) with her family at Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Red Carpet

Following the success of The Karate Kid, it appears that Will and Jada will have daughter Willow (pictured above) following suit of big brother Jaden, starring as the title character in a remake of Annie. From the press release received from Sony today, rapper Jay-Z will be joining Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook in a co-producing capacity.

 According to the press release, Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad stated, “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.”  He goes on to say, “combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular JAY-Z makes this a dream project. A decade ago, JAY-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation with Hard-Knock Life. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with our friends at Overbrook as they launch this new venture.”

 “We are excited to partner together to develop and produce a wide variety of films with our longtime friend JAY-Z, with whom we share a common global vision, both commercially and philosophically, and look forward to collaborating once again with the incredibly talented executives at Sony,” said Overbrook Co-Founder James Lassiter.

Lastly, Shawn Carter (aka Jay-Z), was quoted saying, “the Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision. We’ve already produced a Tony Award winning play and we’re developing a true superstar in Willow. This venture into film development and production is a perfect next step with teams that are accomplished, creative, and innovative.”

Founded by James Lassiter and Will Smith, Overbrook Entertainment’s films have garnered more than $2.5 billion dollars worldwide to date. Some of these films includeALI,  HITCH, PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, SECRET  LIVES OF BEES, and of course, most recently, THE KARATE KID.

Roc Nation, founded back in 2008 by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter in collaboration with Live Nation, is a music and entertainment company that includes: artist, songwriter, producer and engineer management; music publishing; touring & merchandising; new business ventures; and a music label.

Given the track record remakes have been having lately, many people will likely be against this idea of doing yet another remake. However, given the folks that are involved in this particular collaboration, I am definitely intrigued. What are your thoughts?

Based originally on the popular comic strip, the Broadway musical Annie featured songs with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin and even a book, by Thomas Meehan. Originally penned on April 21, 1977, the show 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.

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