Jay-Z, Will Smith, Overbrook Entertainment solidify 'Annie' remake, partnership
Hov's Roc Nation endeavors into film, with Willow 'Whip My Hair' Smith in the lead
Overbrook Entertainment has formally announced a partnership with Jay-Z for future film projects, starting with a big screen remake of American musical classic "Annie."
Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith, along with Overbrook partners James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz, plan to "develop and prduce" multiple major motion pictures with the Roc Nation founder and rapper. The Smiths' daughter Willow, who released the single "Whip My Hair" late last year, is signed to Roc Nation and will be cast in the title role of "Annie."
“The time is right to bring back ANNIE to the big screen. Of course, we’re true believers in Willow's talent and believe she will be perfect in this role,” said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad in a statement.
The Smiths' other child, Jaden, had a major moment in the limelight last summer, in another redux "The Karate Kid," also backed by Overbrook.
And Hov, of course, famously sampled "Annie's" "It's the Hard Knock Life" for his chart-topper "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)."
Partners at Overbrook and Jay-Z enjoyed the success of their first entertainment endeavor -- the Broadway production of "Fela!" -- last year.
"The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision," said Jay-Z. "We've already produced a Tony Award winning play and we're developing a true superstar in Willow. This venture into film development and production is a perfect next step with teams that are accomplished, creative, and innovative.”
HitFix's Drew McWeeny first reported the "Annie" project here. No shooting or release date is available at present.
Overbrook was attached to Will Smith drivers including "I Am Legend," "Hancock," "Ali" and "Hitch."