Willow Smith to star in 'Annie' remake co-produced by Jay-Z
It's official! Willow Smith will star in a remake of the musical "Annie" developed by Sony Pictures and produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's production company, Overbrook Entertainment, with rapper Jay-Z signing on as a partner.
"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," Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad said in a statement.
Previously the rapper, Smith, Pinkett, and James Lassiter, another partner in Overbrook Entertainment, partnered up to co-produce the Broadway play "Fela!," which earned 11 Tony Award nods in 2010.
"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," Jay-Z said in a statement.
Jay-Z, who collaborated with Willow Smith on her "Whip My Hair" single, once had a hit song that sampled the "Hard Knock Life" chorus from the musical.
This wouldn't be the first time Smith has targeted a classic film for a remake starring one of his children. The star developed and produced the "Karate Kid" remake that starred his son Jaden Smith, which was a box office hit in the summer of 2010, earning $350 million worldwide.
"Annie" started as a musical on Broadway in 1977 based off the popular newspaper comic strip and Sarah Jessica Parker was one of the child actresses to play the title role.
The musical hit the silver screen in 1982 with the "Annie" film starring Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Aileen Quinn in the title role. In 1999, Disney produced a made-for-television movie of the stage musical starring Victor Garber, Kathy Bates, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth and Alicia Morton as Annie.