Whether you know the character from the original comic strip, the 1977 Broadway show, or the 1982 movie, a remake of Annie is happening, and we’re all going to have to just get used to it. Since Will Smith is producing it, there were rumors of his daughter Willow taking the lead role, but at least we’ve all been spared that version as Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis has been officially cast as the singing orphan. But though that character may have a hard knock life, the Daddy Warbucks character is quite the opposite – and the production may have just found the man to play him.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Jamie Foxx is in talks to play a revamped version of the Warbucks character, who will be known in this version as “Benjamin Stacks.” Wow. Could they be any more literal with that name? Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends with Benefits) is in the director’s chair for this one, which marks the second time this project has dodged a bullet; “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy was once rumored to direct, so they’re trading up all over the place with this one. Interestingly though, Justin Timberlake was originally rumored for the Daddy Warbucks part, and we’re not sure if they’ve changed the character for Foxx or if JT was going to play this same Benjamin Stacks version of the character.
Wallis was adorably precocious in Beasts, but keep in mind: she was only nine years old when the movie came out and younger than that when filming was taking place. How much of that performance was just her being a cute little kid and how much was actually acting? We’ll never know, but we’ll have a better idea of her actual skills when we see her star in Annie. As for Foxx, he’s certainly putting together an interesting string of roles lately with Horrible Bosses, Django Unchained, White House Down, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and now this modernized rich dude who adopts an orphan. Filming starts in the fall for a 2014 release, so we’ll see also get a chance to see how Foxx’s pipes have held up after his Oscar-winning performance as Ray Charles in 2004’s Ray.
We want to hear from all of you theater kids out there: what do you think about the name change from Oliver Warbucks to Benjamin Stacks? Are you going to check out this version of Annie when it comes out next year? Let us know below.
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