"I have been writing the script for nearly three years, it's exciting… In the autumn, we get to go to LA to work with Willow and work on more of the script… Jay-Z has already started working on the music. We will start shooting in the spring in New York."
Words from Emma Thompson, talking to the BBC on Friday about the upcoming Annie remake (starring Willow Smith, produced by Poppa and Mama Smith, and Jay-Z, who's also composing the soundtrack) that I know you all are really excited about.
Our last post on this, in July, it was announced that Aline Brosh McKenna, the screenwriter for The Devil Wears Prada, and We Bought A Zoo, had been brought on to rewrite the screenplay for the project.
McKenna would reportedly use both the Broadway musical and the comic strips that first introduced Annie, as sources for the screenplay adaptation – a story that we last heard will be set in Detroit, Michigan.
Prior to that news, Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, dropped out of contention for the writing/directing job, despite being Poppa Smith's top choice for the gig.
Still no director officially attached yet.
When Emma Thompson was on-board, it was reported that the studio wanted a script delivered by November (last year), which led me to think that the project would be going in front of cameras sooner than we thought; almost a year later, it doesn't look that way, as Thompson says in the quote above that it'll shoot next Spring in NYC.
The film will include some of the old Annie songs, but some will also be cut to make way for Jay-Z's reworking of the soundtrack. When asked about 11-year-old Willow, Thompson replied, "I really like Willow. She is getting so tall. I mean both Willow and Jayden (her 14-year old brother) are remarkable."
Well, let's hope that the fact that the screenplay has been worked on for 3 years, means it'll be sound.