Quvenzhané Wallis will play the title role in a film version of “Annie” scheduled for release during the winter holiday season in 2014.
The news about the diminutive actress, nominated for an Oscar for her role of wild child Hushpuppy in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” was announced by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures; Hannah Minghella, president of production for the studio; Overbrook Entertainment; Marcy Media; Sony Pictures Entertainment; and director Will Gluck,
Commenting on the announcement, Minghella said, “With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star. She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her.”
The film is being directed by Gluck and produced by James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through Overbrook Entertainment, and by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media.
According to the release, Gluck is currently revising the film’s screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical stage play “Annie,” book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and on “Little Orphan Annie.”
A revival of the musical is currently on Broadway starring Katie Finneran with Jane Lynch scheduled to take over as the meany Miss Hannigan.
On numerous red carpets, where she personified grace and charm, Wallis told journalists her pastimes were soccer, singing, dancing and playing with her Ipod. She has said she hates getting dirty, so parading around in squalor and dirt in underpants and muddy boots for her role as Hushpuppy was the most challenging part of her role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” she told me back in September at a junket.
She is quite the fashion plate and her favorite accessory is a poodle dog handbag, which she owns both in black and white, and which she bought at her neighborhood mall in Louisiana.
She accessorized with her white poodle bag at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday and a different puppy bag at the Oscars yesterday. Her favorite TV stars/singers are China McClain, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus.
Her upcoming films include a role in “Twelve Years a Slave” with Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and director Steve McQueen. They youngest actor to be nominated for an Academy Award is on her way to becoming a real movie star!
I just hope she really does have the singing chops for that score.
On the red carpet she was asked if she could sing and she said “yes” but haltingly. Willow Smith was supposed to star but she outgrew the part and not sure she had the voice either. “Tomorrow” is challenging as well as irritating, I think, but they had some non-singers (Eddie Redmayne) in “Les Miz” and it worked so I assume the acting is more important than the singing in this “Annie” version too.
Also, you can bet they had her go through all the numbers in an audition, and I read that Quvezhane sang all the songs for the producers. Their timing in making this announcement now has ratcheted up interest and anticipation. Ah Hollywood!