January 31, 2013
Jay-Z's 'Annie' remake loses star Willow Smith
At 12, the 'Whip My Hair' singer is now too old to play Little Orphan Annie
Willow Smith will no longer be starring in Jay-Z's remake of Annie.
Jay-Z is a producer on the upcoming movie alongside Willow's parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. The rapper, who sampled a song from the classic Broadway musical for his 1998 hit 'Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)', is also said to be writing new songs for the project.
'Whip My Hair' singer Willow had been attached from the start, but at 12 years old, she is now considered too old to play Little Orphan Annie. A representative from the Smiths' production company Overbrook Entertainment said in a statement: "Willow was nine years old when we started developing this project, and has since grown out of the role."
However, the remake is still moving forward with Will Gluck in negotiations to direct and revise the script, which has already had input from Emma Thompson. Gluck's previous helming credits include Easy A and Friends With Benefits.
Jay-Z said in a statement: “For [my company] Marcy Media's first foray into film, we couldn't ask for better partners and mentors than Overbrook Entertainment. We are excited to work with Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment. My well-known affinity for the classic 'Hard Knock Life' makes Annie a natural vehicle to lead us into the world of the cinema."
The film's producers will begin looking for a new Annie shortly. Meanwhile, the multi-talented Willow Smith has recently unveiled a new song which samples Radiohead.
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