It’s a hard knock life for some, but definitely not for Quvenzhané Wallis.
Sony Pictures announced yesterday that Wallis will play the lead role in a modern film adaptation of the much-loved stage show about a young orphan who goes in search of her missing parents. Will Gluck, who incidentally based his film Easy A on the classic novel The Scarlet Letter, will direct the film entitled Little Orphan Annie.
“With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star,” a spokesperson from Columbia Pictures told reporters.
“She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her,” they added.
The now nine-year old actress was just six during filming for her debut role in Ben Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, the role that saw Wallis nominated for a best actress Oscar – one of the youngest actresses ever to do so.
One of the shows producers, actor Will Smith, reportedly conceived the show as an opportunity for his daughter Willow to play the starring role. However, it is believed that the 12-year old is now considered too old to play the role of the 11-year old singing orphan – after the film took quite some time to get off the ground.
Musician Jay-Z is also on board as a producer for the film, a familiar story for the rapper who sampled music from the 1982 film Annie in his hit song Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).
The film will hit screens next year, but it will have many expectations riding on it.
The stage show Annie, which first opened in 1977, ran for a record-breaking six years in theatre. The original film also landed a number of Oscar nominations when it was released in 1982, including best original score and best art direction.