Emma Thompson could be set to write the script for Will Smith and Jay-Z’s ‘re-imagining’ of the musical, Annie.
It was announced back in January that Will Smith planned to remake the 1952 musical comedy, Annie, with Smith’s daughter, Willow, in the lead role. The original film was, of course, based on a hit Broadway musical, which detailed the adventures of a young orphan girl with an unruly mop of red hair who is keen to find a family.
The adaptation will see Jay-Z take charge of musical side of things – after all, he’s already sampled the Annie tune, ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’, on his third studio album. He also worked with both Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith in producing another Broadway musical, Fela!, which received 11 Tony Award Nominations.
It’s also not the first time that Smith has produced a film with one of his children in mind – last year Willow’s older brother Jaden starred opposite Jackie Chan in Smith’s remake of The Karate Kid. Willow has also appeared on the big screen in the past, starring alongside her father in the 2007 film, I Am Legend. Last year, she launched her music career with the song, ‘Whip My Hair’, and is signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation record label.
Ryan Murphy, the man behind Glee and Eat Pray Love, has been attached to directed for some time, but the project has so far been without a screen writer. However, Smith is reported to be keen for his Men In Black III co-star, Emma Thompson, to pen the adaptation. Thompson has previously received acclaim for scripting the recent Nanny McPhee franchise, and was awarded an Oscar for screen adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.
Judging by Thompson’s tendency to write herself into her scripts, it’s not unlikely that she’ll also star in the film if she decided to take on the job. The most obvious casting choice for Thompson is arguably Agatha Hannigan, Annie’s alcoholic guardian, but we’ll have to wait to find out if Thompson will definitely appear in the film, and in which role. We’ll keep you posted!