Willow Smith No Longer to Play ‘Annie’ In Remake
Somehow we have all lived long enough for there to be a movie role that Willow Smith is too old to play. The daughter of Will and Jada Smith had been set for years to make her lead acting debut in Annie, a new modernized adaptation of the stage musical that her dad was on board to produce alongside Jay-Z. It was barely two years ago that the Smith family started putting the project together, but when you’re nine years ago, a year and a half is a long time– Willow Smith is now too old for the film, even though a director has finally been set to make it.
Will Gluck, who directed the effervescent ‘Easy A’ and the hit ‘Friends With Benefits’ is now on board to helm ‘Annie’, according to Deadline. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and James Lassiter are all on board to produce through Overbrook Entertainment, as is Jay-Z through his Marcy Media, but Willow is now out. Gluck will rewrite the screenplay which first came from Emma Thompson before receiving a rewrite from Aline Brosh McKenna. Those are two pretty big names to throw off a screenplay, but when you’re Will Smith, you get exactly what you want.
The studio is reportedly aiming for a 2014 release date, which means they’ll have to move very fast to find a new Annie, not to mention the rest of the cast.
Jay Z, who previously sampled the classic ‘Annie’ song ‘It’s The Hard Knock Life’ in ‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’, stated, “For Marcy Media’s first foray into film, we couldn’t ask for better partners and mentors than Overbrook Entertainment. We are excited to work with Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment. My well-known affinity for the classic ‘Hard Knock Life’ makes Annie a natural vehicle to lead us into the world of the cinema.”
(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)