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Will Smith Explains Why Willow Smith Dropped Out Of ‘Annie’ Remake

Will Smith Explains Why Willow Smith Dropped Out Of 'Annie' Remake

In case you missed the announcement last week, Willow Smith, who was to star in the upcoming Annie remake that Will SmithJada Pinkett Smith, and James Lassiter are producing, with Jay-Z (also one of the film’s producers) scoring, is no longer going to star in the film.

At the time of that post, the answer to the “why” question wasn’t public, although I suggested that it may have been because she’s out-grown the part (she was 9 when it was first announced that she’d star in the film; she’s 12 now).

Skip ahead a few days later, when, addressing the audience at an event called Real Talk with Sister Souljah and Will Smith at Philly’s Temple University, poppa Smith said the following about Willow’s exit:

“Willow was supposed to be doing ‘Annie,’ we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with ‘Whip My Hair’ and she said, ‘You know Daddy, I don’t think so,’ and I said, ‘Baby, hold up!’ I said, ‘No, no, no, listen, you’ll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyonce will be there. You will be singing and dancing,’ and she looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.'”

He added further…

“The thing that had become very clear to me is the danger of a material world and focusing so hard on coming up with money or a house or a job. You focus so hard on those things, and sometimes you can lose focus on why you are doing it in the first place. The only reason to do any of that is to have love… I’m really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love. Someone’s emotional needs can be very, very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be.”

So, in a nutshell, Willow just wants to be a kid, like any other I suppose.

I understand. Poppa and Momma Smith probably had all these career plans for the kids, but Willow isn’t really up for all that, apparently, which I guess means that Willow will be slowing down a bit – at least for now – and will instead focus on being Willow, a regular 12-year-old kid… with filthy, stinking rich, powerful parents, and the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce hanging around the house.

But seriously… I understand. Do you Willow.

Will Gluck has been tapped to direct the Annie film, which the Smiths are still producing. And as I wondered last week, assuming they still plan to go with a black lead, is this a perfect opening for Quvenzhané Wallis?

A key question will be how well she can carry a tune.

Sony is eyeing a fall production start date, so an actress will be selected likely in the next 6 months; maybe sooner.

Stay tuned.

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i just recently meet Quvenzhane at the I’m at the movies. Text me to see Annie and she was their to take pictures with people. When I got to meet her she was so much like Annie a kind and sweet little girl. Later that day we saw each other at a restaurant and we got to eat with each other. It turns out we are the same age (11) and her birthday is two months before mine (Q-August A-October).


I think ms.wallis would be perfect for annie


The only reason to remake it is because we have to ghetto-fy everything in this generation. They did the same shit to the Karate Kid. Daddy loves to buy movies that are in the heart of caucasians and gut them and spit on them. Regardless, none of them will touch Aileen Quinn's performance.


Why remake Annie in the first place? You cannot touch the brilliant Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Albert Finney, Geoffrey Holder, Tim Curry and all those young actors and actresses in it. Not to mention it was directed by John Huston. The John Huston. Now Annie wasn't the greatest movie ever made but it was well done for what it was and had really top notch performances in it. Everything is just way too shiny these days. Just get it on the Netflix. Someone should write a musical about several African orphans adopted by one well meaning white family with a black maid from the Carribean of course. And the catch is the well meaning white family cannot stand Black Americans. Will their opinion change now that they've added more color to their lives? Get on it, screenwriters. It should be a comedy of course. The first song number could be called "It Was A War Torn Life Until Thankfully One Or Two Of Us Exotic Looking African Kids Were Rescued"


Clearly I'm out of the loop because the girl's reason for not doing the show makes perfect sense to me. What is the real reason that everyone but me seems to know????


@BONDGIRL, I totally agree with you. @FACTCHECKER "That's a great spin on this story. … Too bad no one is buying it. Those kids live for the attention that their last name brings them. And so do their parents." What? live for the attention that their last name brings them! You are a JOKE! Firstly, they made their last name for what it is today. Your choice to buy it or not(as you put it). FACTCHECKER, I am almost certain if this family was of a different ethnic group, you probably wouldn't have a problem if "Those kids live for the attention that thei last name brings them!"…Also, choose your words very wisely with me because, I use "your own words" to respond. @Agent Smith, Are you serious? "No talent" what kind of an Agent are you? surely not show business. I will keep this one simple. Have you ever heard the old cliche. "The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree?" Well, both parents are great actors' and musicians. So why not their childrens be just as successful and keep their family legacy going. I think you need to quit drinking "Hateraid".


Someone on the Today Show (believe it was Ann Curry) asked Quvenzhane to sing during a recent interview, and she sounded beautifully. She would make an excellent Annie.


That's a great spin on this story. … Too bad no one is buying it. Those kids live for the attention that their last name brings them. And so do their parents.

Agent $mith

You mean the fact that she had zero talent had nothing to do with it????

monique a williams

It's clear to anyone who has seen Willow out in the past few years that she is emotionally fragile and the LAST THING she needs is to be the focus of this production. Seems she knows herself better than her parents do. I hope the respite makes her stronger.


I agree! Ms. Wallis would be perfect. :)

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