‘Annie’ Remake Begins Production; Full Cast Announced

Published 2 years ago by

Annie Movie Remake Cast Production Announced Annie Remake Begins Production; Full Cast Announced

Reboots and remakes have become a trend in Hollywood over the last few years. Classic works of literature and science fiction that have already been made into successful feature films are getting the reboot treatment.

Broadway is not different as it was announced a few months ago that rap mogul Shaun ‘Jay Z’ Carter would be producing a remake of the popular orphan tale, Annie - and that the little red head with a heart of gold would be replaced by the incredibly talented Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild). Now the film has begun production in New York and the full star studded cast has been announced.

Wallis plays the titular role as Annie. While the rest of the starring roles belong to Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. Also joining the cast are Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Lost), Amanda Troya, Eden Duncan Smith, Nicolette Pierini, and Zoe Colletti.

Director/Producer/Screenwriter Will Gluck (Easy A) is taking the helm for the musical comedy. Other big name producers include the aforementioned Jay Z, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith. While this is Will Gluck’s first time directing a musical, this is not Jay Z’s first time producing a soundtrack for a feature film. He recently teamed up with director Baz Lurhman to produce the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby.

quvenzhane wallis annie remake Annie Remake Begins Production; Full Cast Announced

It was originally planned for Will & Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith, to take on the role of Annie. It was her decision to not pursue the role in order to focus on being a pre-teen (seriously); the role then went to Quvenzhané Wallis, who captivated audiences around the world with the Academy Award-nominated film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Wallis may not be the household name, but being in a remake of  a classic Broadway play will certainly change that.

I have high hopes for this Annie reboot. Gluck is a talented comedic director and the star power alone is enough evidence that this remake will be done right. Jay Z created an impressive soundtrack with The Great Gatsby, and with the help of Will Smith, I believe he can strike gold again. Annie has an impressive cast filled with award-winners, and a very talented (and incredibly young) Academy Award nominated actress in the lead role.


Annie will be in theaters Christmas 2014.

Source: Sony Pictures

Follow Al Mannarino on Twitter @almannarino
TAGS: Annie
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  1. That kid was great in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Much better casting than shoving Will Smith’s daughter in there.

  2. Is it gonna be a modern adaptation ?
    Anyway I can’t wait to see it just because of Quvenzhané Wallis
    Beasts of the southern world was such a great movie

  3. It’s funny how Jay Z is on this considering he sampled Hard Knock Life for his 1998 single of the same name. I’d be surprised if that track didn’t resurface in this remake.

    I think Annie’s casting is an inspired choice.

    • He already confirmed it will

  4. Box office failure spotted IMO

    • Maybe, maybe not. Care to elaborate?

  5. Just letting the article writer know… Typo in the title. Beings = Begins*

    • Fixed.

      Thanks for the catch!

  6. Last time we saw this was with THE WIZ and that sucked and can someone tell will and jayda smith to STOP trying to push off their kids on us and give the TRULY talented african american kids without a famous mommy and daddy a break !JEEZ!

    • The Wiz movie failed because the actress was too old to play Dorothy Gale, and the script was loaded with est jargon that the actress in question was espousing (not for nothing did a critic say, ‘Miss Ross is on a quest to kill the Wicked Witch of the West. She should kill the Wicked Witch of est instead; this movie’s loaded with all of the self-help jargon of the last ten years.’)

      Quvenzhané Wallis is the same age as Annie Warbucks, and can act. There’s a difference, even if you can’t see it.

  7. Last one was not good, and this unnecessary one won’t be either. Probably about some nasty guy hanging out with lollipops at the local playground.
    Snark, snark, ignorant snark.

  8. I happen to be personal friends with the girl who played Molly in the original film. I wonder what she has to say about this…

    • Who care what she has to say? This is a new Annie, she can either accept it or get lost.

  9. Please.

  10. I want to remake stuff for no good reason! Lets remake “Shaft” with Nicholas Cage as the main character. Oh, we need to also remake “Blade” with Gerard Butler. While we we’re at it, we should also remake “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” or maybe… you get the point. Let the angry comments commence.

    • Except that Blade was originally a white character.

    • Miley has her eye on the Stella role…in 20 years.

      • No eyes allowed…look at Annie (the cartoon comicstrip drawing): who took her eyes? Maybe Dr. Strange has a magical one she can borrow…and Cyclops might have the other eye (singular)!

  11. I know im gonna get flack for this but are we doing the whole reboot with different colours now. by that i mean is the girl being given the role because she can act and is good at singing like the original or are we having a black kid instead of the white girl just for the sake of publicity like the rumors were for the whole black doctor.

    Im just getting bored of the debate that has been going on when people say that its time (Name of character) is played by a (Insert opposite colour/gender/Ethnicity)

  12. Oh great. Here we go again.

    If there’s any concern I have over the casting announcements, it has nothing to do with race. It’s the fact that Cameron Diaz, given her relative star power and her turn in Bad Teacher, is likely going to be cast as Miss Hannigan. She couldn’t carry a tune to save her life.

    • I’m not talking about race for no reason. What I’m saying is that I hope the girl and the cast got the roles for their acting ability instead of directors, casting agents and movie studios wanting to changes things up for the sake of free publicity. Again I couldn’t give two rat’s pajamas if sptheyre white, black or green Martians as long as they deserve the role rather than being put their to diversify the cast.

      Much like people were calling for a black Doctor, James Bond. I’m all for black doctor or James Bond but don’t do it just to have a black actor play a famous white role. Do it because the actor is the best fit.

      • That’s should be if she or they r white. I’m using my iPad and it has auto correct on and don’t know what it tried to change it to.

        • @DJV1985

          The lead actress was nominated for an oscar so there really should be no question about her talent.
          As for as free publicity goes,this is Hollywood we are talking about and its not as if a more traditional take (that is a white character) on Annie is out there getting passed over for this “Diverse” version.


          Nothing says that a “white” version of “Stella” “Blade” or “Shaft” couldn’t be made.

          Many white fanboys like to assume that black america would riot if some kind of race reversal of a beloved black property took place,but nothing could be further from the truth.

          If black folks can accept white rappers,we can accept a ‘White” Shaft which btw, was a black version of the white “supercop” genre of the late 60′s early 70′s that started with “Bullet” and went on to “Dirty Harry”

          • A 9 year old being nominated for an Oscar isn’t a very good measure of actual talent. It just means the board wanted to have a child in the category for the first time in years purely for publicity and to claim they’re “hip” and smarter than anyone else by giving someone in a movie no one had heard of before (or since) the nod.

            That’s why The Artist (as good as that film was) swept the boards out of nowhere. Or why people look towards blatant Oscar bait movies that are heavy on the biopic or patriotism sides (see: Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty) as the possible big contenders and why some are learning not to take the ceremony seriously any more because popular movies only ever get technical or editing nods and not the big awards.

            Also, it’s black producers wanting an urban contemporary version of a classic musical featuring hip hop and R&B music. They admitted so themselves in the early stages of this movie’s life. Nothing wrong with that by the way, it’s like rock fans doing a metal version of the musical. Takes a story and makes it appeal to people who would otherwise avoid it.

          • Sorry to bust your bubble, but Black America would riot at there being a white John Shaft, the same way the Asian American community got pissed off at white people being cast in the major roles of the movie version of the Avatar: The Last Airbender TV show. Annie can be cast (and played by) different people from different backgrounds; John Shaft and the characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender can’t be. So stop talking codswallop.

      • Oh no, I wasn’t responding to your post in particular. I’m on your side with this. I’m more concerned with people who like to sarcastically list their revenge casting to emphasize their poorly developed points.

        There is a difference between “I’m casting ActorX REGARDLESS of the fact that he’s EthnicityY.” versus “I’m casting ActorX BECAUSE he’s EthnicityY.” None of us here know these movie execs or have any verifiable insight into their motivations , so it’s pointless for us to make assumptions about them. I can, however comment on their choices. I said Quvenzhané Wallis is an inspired choice, because she’s capable of simultaneously exhibiting both maturity and innocence: two traits that define Annie’s character. Hopefully, she can sing too.

      • Okay sorry must have missed read. I take my moaning back if it in anyway seems rude to u. But I do still stick by my words though. I can’t stand when actors are picked for their appearance rather than acting chops. Like the rumour that went around a little while ago that was gonna have Johnny storm as a black guy which would then mean that Susan storm would be black.

        Having great actors in roles is far more important than trying to be politically correct.

        • No need for an apology! It’s just nice to have a civil conversation on the internet for a change. That’s why I like the SR community. It’s generally a more decent and intelligent group.

        • There is no reason Sue can’t be white and have a black brother. Adoption, foster care or bi-racial parents explain children with different skin tones.

          Many reasons exist on both sides if the argument of changing race in a movie. But as far as I can see, especially in this particular project, the role should go to the most talented. I don’t know the story, but isn’t Annie an orphan? Does it really matter?

  13. Didn’t like the original and will avoid this version but I guess it’d be good for those who haven’t heard of the original version to get a (possibly) decent musical film for their generation.

  14. The girl seems like a talented actress, so that’s great. To me, Annie is kind of one of the ultimate anachronistic musicals, so it seems an odd choice to remake, but if they do a good job of modernizing it, it could be terrific I suppose.

  15. This whole black to white , girl to guy , straight to gay thing in reboots is just getting old . If you want diversity that’s truly respected create original ideas instead of taking others ideas that people put their hearts and souls into and change them to fit your political , social or religious views cause the reboot/change thing just reinforces bigot minds in thinking your just to stupid and lazy to do otherwise .I know for a fact if this is done we’ll get new , great classics that ALL people will enjoy and stand the test of time.

  16. Race, race, race…all I ever hear is liberals screaming out, “You cheated me, I know my rights, play the race card!”, when that is not what people necessarily mean when they mention preferences. The ones screaming bias are usually the “gimmees” who want their leftist liberal agendas pushed, think their oxen have been gored, or want to be a ramble-rouser. And it’s almost always either blacks or whites who want to feel proud of themselves for waving a liberal “politically-correct” black flag to make a stink. I am white, conservatiove, right-leaning, Republican, and probably (drill this into your brains until they go squish) ABOUT THE MOST UNBIASED PERSON YOU WILL EVER MEET! However, here are some facts for you!
    White is white. Let those actors play white parts, not black.
    Black is black. Let those actors play black parts, not white.
    Keep all parts, no matter which, according to how they were originally written.
    Quit bringing up the race issue, no matter what side you are on. We are not talking about Penguins, Zebras, Oreo Cookies, and Nuns.
    There are many good (and lousy) actors of both races.
    I am born and bred American, but of Danish, Welsh, Scottish, and English descent. You don’t hear me screaming discrimination if those ethnic backgrounds are not represented by an equal # of actors, and a good thing, or all you others who grumble and yell would be sitting holding your spinning heads by the curbside mumbling to yourselves and saying, “What just hit me?”.
    Malcolm X, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King, and numerous others will not be played by a white guy, so until they are, all you people changing canon to favor blacks should button your craws. That is not to say people on the other opposite side of the spectrum should not slap their flapping lips shut, either.
    I know many fine people of many diverse ethnic backgounds, personally, and have nothing biased or discriminatory to say about them. It is you rabble-rousers who cause the problems, so shut the heck up.

    • @Goldilocks

      You actually were making a valid point until you brought up Malcolm X,Martin Luther King,and Michael Jackson who were real people not fictional characters. Where is the black version of “Lincoln” “Braveheart” or “Captain Phillips” for that matter?

      Look at American television and film history,its full of classic American shows/films that originally were created in the UK or Latin America with British or Latin characters and were later adapted for an American audience with a US location, actors and situations. Why should it be any different to take a “White” show/film or a “black/latino” one for that matter and retool it for a new audience?

      Use a little imagination.

      • My only problem with his comment is the “I’m born American but have X, Y and Z descent”.

        Really bugs me when Americans and Canadians say that. I also hate the terms “African American” and “Afro Caribbean”. It’s like, you’re either one or the other. African or American.

        I remember one guy on a website calling himself Irish Canadian and it bugged the hell out of me because if he was born in Canada, he’d be Canadian, no need to use the Irish part at all because he isn’t Irish, as much as he seems to want to be.

        He also pointlessly argued every article he wrote that a guy in the entertainment business using the name Sheamus was spelling it wrong and that the traditional Irish spelling was “Seamus”, despite the fact that the guy in question calling himself Sheamus was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland while this brainless wonder complaining about the spelling was born in Vancouver, Canada.

        It’s also a reason that Boston annoys me (the city in America, not the small town in England) because they all think they’re Irish when clearly, they aren’t, just descended from them.

        Me personally, I have Irish descent but my parents were English, I was born in England so therefore, I’m English. Not “Irish English”.

        Major pet peeve of mine.

        • I only pointed out my ethnic background to show that I don’t wear my ancestor’s racial background on my sleeve. I was born in America and consider myself when asked (unlewss asked specifically what my ancestral background is) as “American”. Darned proud of it as well. If I wanted to wave it around, I suppose I could add that one of my ancestors on my mom’s side was Odell Shepard, a Pulitzer Prize winner back in about the 1920s as well as president of an off-shoot college of Harvard. Another ancestor on mom’s side was Admiral Horatio Nelson, Commodore of the British Nay, I believe, and a war hero. On dad’s side I have distant ties to an actress (Benita Granville) and by marriage to the Kraft family that is well-known in the food industry. However, I just tell them little old me is a Wal-Mart worker and American citizen. Why advertise to impress? If it’s any comfort to you, I don’t really see much merit in titles like “Afro-American”, “Native American”, etc. when they are used to designate “Hey, I’m someone special” if it is being waved like a “in your face” flag, either. The area I moved into in upper Michigan has everyone doing the “Finnish thing”, where you’re Finn or not in (oops, guess I’m out; not Finnish).

        • We are talking about the film here, NOT YOUR FEELINGS.

      • In part because the people retooling some films, or creating new ones from books, stories, comics, etc., are retooling the original writer’s work just tom prove they can as kind of an “in your face” or “look, I can do this to that” statement. Those are ones I have trouble with. Let me stress that I have seen actors of one ethnic background do a good job in the stories originally written for a different background. They sometimes do a wonderful job, and the race may not always matter so much. I am not saying they can’t perform it, just that the re-writers shouldn’t rewrite it that way.

  17. @ Goldilocks ..I couldn’t agree with you more .

  18. ANNIE IS A RED HEAD WHITE YOUNG GIRL. Please do not remake a movie NOTHING LIKE the original, I don’t care about race or color because I myself is part black, filipino and french, I haven’t and will not see this rational pathetic remake of a film. It’s a disgrace and rude to remake a movie with an african american. Rename it something else, this is an embarrassment to the original. What a waste of money.

  19. Annie is a classic.. It should not be remade!!

  20. Wrong time for Anne, especially with the man in the White House.
    Taking liberties with the books and Anne series is the distraction of a great story.
    As for my family we watched the origional movie and will not watch
    your miss representation.