Although it was initially rumored that Will Smith’s daughter Willow Smith was attached to the ‘Annie’ musical, she eventually dropped to pursue other things. Will Smith has remained as a producer on the project, and his production company Overbrook Entertainment will also remain as the production company behind the project.
The film is set to be directed by Will Gluck and in addition to Will Smith, will be produced by his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and James Lassiter. The script has been written by Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna.
The head of production at Sony [the studio distributing the film], Hannah 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 set to come out in 2014, and is sure to be one of the most successful musicals due to its large built-in fan base and name recognition. After her first nomination, Wallis’s star has steadily been rising, with a supporting role in Steve McQueen’s ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ and now her first major leading role after ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’.