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Jay-Z And Will Smith Bring A New “Annie” To The Screen

Jamie Foxx And Quvenzhané Wallis in “Annie”

If you have been checking the site these days you will see a lot of articles about music’s role in films. Well, here is another one! This time we are bringing you the trailer for the new modern interpretation of the musical, Annie. The idea for the film must have been inspired by Jay-Z’s 1998 hit, “Hard Knock Life” that samples the original song from the musical in it’s hook. This is because Jay-Z was attached as one of the film’s primary producers since it’s early development with Sony in 2011. Another Hip Hop veteran Will Smith and his Overbrook Entertainment production team also joined him to help bring it to the screen.  Will’s own daughter, Willow Smith was even originally casted in the lead role, until it was announced that she dropped out of th project last year.

The music connections to this film continued when rumors surfaced that Jay-Z’s frequent collaborator, Justin Timberlake was to be cast as a modern version of Oliver Warbucks. However those talks were put to rest when another actor and singer, Jamie Foxx officially signed on to play the character, which is now named, Will Stacks in this version. You may remember Jamie co-starred with Will Smith in the 2001 biopic, Ali. (Also produced by Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment) The film got even more connections to Will’s filmography , when Academy Award winning actress Emma Thompson signed on to co-write the script with Will Gluck (Easy A (2010), Friends With Benefits (2011)) and Aline Brosh McKenna (We Bought A Zoo (2011)) You may remember that Emma Thompson co-starred with Will as “Agent O”, in Men In Black 3. (2012) It seems that is where the connections to Will stop however, because when Willow Smith dropped out of the role of Annie, she was replaced by Academy Award nominated actress, Quvenzhané Wallis. (Beast Of The Southern Wild (2012) and 12 Years A Slave (2013))

It does seem like Jay-Z has another hit on his hands in the film world, during an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America in 2012, Will Smith revealed that the soundtrack to the film will include the classics from the original musical, as well as multiple original songs by Jay. This is coincidentally the second film remake that Jay-Z helped produce. He also was given executive production credit on Baz Luhrmann remake of The Great Gatsby from last year. He also lead the way on that soundtrack as well. Could history be repeating itself for Jay-Z? It does certainly look like it, check out the trailer below!

Annie (2014 Trailer)

Overbrook Entertainment/Columbia Pictures

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Bazmark Productions/Village Roadshow/Warner Bros Pictures

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