Will Smith & Jay-Z’s ‘Annie’ Reboot Sets Release Date

By September 24, 2013

Back in February, I told you how the Oscar-nominated Quevenzhane Wallis had been cast in the Annie reboot and – as promised – I’m back to tell you what else I know.

But first, a quick recap:


Directed by Easy A‘s Will Gluck with a script initially written by actor Emma Thompson (Love Actually) THEN rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) before coming back around to Gluck to rewrite, this urban reboot has some heavy hitters in front and behind the scenes: it’s produced by both Overlook Entertainment (Will and Jada Smith’s company) and Jay-Z, who’s also doing the soundtrack.

But as it’s been said time and time again, with the exception of Miss Hannigan, don’t expect an exact replica of the Tony-award winning musical; some names have already been changed and added to this update set in Harlem.

Who’s doing what:

Quevenzhane Wallis (Annie)


Cameron Diaz (Miss Hannigan)


Here’s an interesting casting choice – will she ugly it up or will they make her glamorously evil? Even better question…can she sing or will she sing-talk?

Jamie Foxx (Benjamin Stacks)


Benjamin Stacks is the new name for Daddy Warbucks and is considering running for Mayor of NYC. Gotta say I’m NOT a fan of this re-naming of Daddy Warbucks AT ALL. Five elements of Annie must ALWAYS stay the same and those elements are the names of Annie, Miss Hannigan, Sandy the dog, Punjab, and of course, Daddy Warbucks. I don’t know WHY they think they’ll get away with changing his name when nearly every kid in the world knows two things: the words to “Tomorrow” and that the ever-so-rich, ever-so-crabby, and ever-so-bald man whose heart was melted by Annie is Daddy Warbucks.

Bobby Cannavale (character unnamed) and Rose Byrne (Grace)


Real life couple and “Boardwalk Empire” stars Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne are also part of the principle cast, but whether or not they’ll couple up on camera is another thing. Byrne will be playing War- I mean, Stacks’ trusted assistant, Grace, while Cannavale will be playing a yet unnamed role created for the film…all that’s known is that he’ll play Stacks’ “bulldog political advisor,” so maybe he WILL be Grace’s love interest.

Annie could find herself in some SERIOUS competition as The Hobbit: There And Back Again (in 2, 3, and IMAX 3-D) opens on the 17th and my favorite musical-turned-film Into The Woods opens on Christmas Day.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: when exactly Annie is slated to open. That date is…December 18, 2014.

I’ll be hitting this one – they better not mess it up.

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Cricket Lee
Star Wars fangirl. Named Best Kisser by Time Magazine. CEO/Host: Girl Gamer; host of Gecken: GeekNation; writer: Dread Central. You'll have a crush on me soon. Vote Quimby. Twitter: @crixlee http://www.imdb.me/crixlee
  • Lisa Watts

    Can’t wait to check out Annie when it hits the theatre!!