The rumors that Oscar-nominated best actress Quvenzhane Wallis would play in a new musical of “Annie” are true. Overbrook Entertainment, Marcy Media, director Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment have confirmed that the diminutive New Orleans star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” will play the title role in “Annie.”
Columbia president of production Hannah Minghella cited Wallis’s high global profile as an Oscar nominee as well as her “amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her.”
Sony is slating the film for the winter holiday season in 2014. Directed by Gluck (“Easy A”), the film will be produced by James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through Overbrook Entertainment (“Ali,” “HItch,” “I Am Legend”), and by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media. Gluck is currently revising the script, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical stage play “Annie,” book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and on “Little Orphan Annie,” and Tribune Media Services, Inc. Sony production execs Andrea Giannetti and Devon Franklin will oversee the picture.
Wallis will next be seen in Steve McQueen’s “Twelve Years a Slave” opposite Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender. Overbrook’s next film is “After Earth,” set for June 7 release.