Will Gluck to direct ‘Annie’ remake, Willow Smith no longer to star

By Daniel Levine,

Easy A director Will Gluck has been tapped by Sony to direct a remake of the classic musical Annie. The project had been in the works for a few years, with Will Smith’s daughter Willow to star, but she has dropped out.

Gluck is in negotiations with the studio, which noted that Willow was just nine when they first hoped to get the film off the ground, reports The Wrap. Producers now feel that she has outgrown the role and will continue searching for a new Annie.

Still, Willow’s parents remain involved as producers. The film will be co-produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith with James Lassiter through their Overbrook Entertainment banner. Jay-Z, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith are also attached to produce under Marcy Media.

According to Deadline, Gluck is also slated to work on the script, which was originally written by Emma Thompson and re-written by Aline Brosh McKenna. It is based off the famous musical written by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. The movie will be set in modern Manhattan.

Annie was last in theaters in 1982 with Albert Finney and Carol Burnett. That film was directed by the great John Huston.

“For Marcy Media’s first foray into film, we couldn’t ask for better partners and mentors than Overbrook Entertainment,” Jay-Z, who sampled “It’s A Hard Knock Life,” said in a statement. “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.”

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