Rumor Patrol: Justin Timberlake as Daddy Warbucks in the ‘Annie’ Remake?

Published 2 years ago by

justin timberlake daddy warbucks Rumor Patrol: Justin Timberlake as Daddy Warbucks in the Annie Remake?

With a Christmas Day 2014 release date recently set for Sony’s remake of Annie, progress on the film’s production is heating up – with Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis cast a few weeks ago for the lead role that original choice Willow Smith outgrew. The film is being produced by Jay-Z, who released an updated arrangement of the musical’s famous song Hard Knock Life in 1999 (later covered by Dr. Evil and Mini-Me in Goldmember), with Will Smith co-producing through his company Overbrook Entertainment. Emma Thompson was selected to write the script for Smith and Jay-Z’s remake in 2011.

The role of ‘Daddy’ Oliver Warbucks, the wealthy but cold-hearted munitions industrialist who eventually takes young Annie under his wing, was played by Albert Finney in the 1982 adaptation of the Broadway musical, which remains the best-known film version so far. Aside from Wallis’ casting we’ve had little news regarding the potential actors who might be appearing in this Will Gluck-directed remake, but there is a rather interesting rumor going around as to who might soon sign on for the Daddy Warbucks role: Justin Timberlake.

This news necessitates a heavy “rumor only” disclaimer – especially since Sony’s reps have issued a statement saying it’s not true (though, it wouldn’t be the first time official PR denials turned out to be true).

According to The New York Post:

“Justin Timberlake could team with Jay-Z yet again. Hollywood sources are buzzing that [Justin Timberlake is] being considered to star as Daddy Warbucks.”

The reports don’t sound completely off-base, however, since Justin Timberlake has history with several of the people already involved in the project. He played the male lead in director Will Gluck’s 2011 comedy Friends with Benefits, featured on the single “Switch Signs” with Will Smith and The Artist Formerly Known as Snoop Dogg, and collaborated with Jay-Z on “Suit & Tie.”

justin timberlake is daddy warbucks Rumor Patrol: Justin Timberlake as Daddy Warbucks in the Annie Remake?

That said, could Timberlake deliver a solid performance as a younger version of Daddy Warbucks? While plenty of moviegoers continue to criticize the musician and actor for his boy band days, Timberlake has racked up a successful (and enjoyable) film resume – including The Social Network and Trouble with the Curve, among others (not to mention fan-favorite appearances on Saturday Night Live). Plus, whether you’re a fan of his music or not, Timberlake would definitely bring much-needed singing talent to the musical role.

Of course, if the Timberlake buzz turns out to be just a rumour, there are a number of other actors that could be considered for the role. Personally, I’d love to see James Avery get the job – mostly out of a desire to see Philip ‘Uncle Phil’ Banks revived for the big screen! Find a part for Will Smith somewhere in the cast and the reunion would no doubt bring a tear to the eye of any audience member who grew up in the nineties.

Do the Timberlake rumors make you happy, or is there someone else that you’d like to see in the Daddy Warbucks role? With only the lead actress confirmed so far, feel free to share your ideas for a dream cast in the comments.

Annie is out in theaters in December 25, 2014.


Source: The New York Post

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Annie
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  1. That makes so little sense the only appropriate response is “wat.”

  2. I think I could see this, as JT playing a young daddy warbucks

  3. So will he pull Annie’s bra off?

    • Yeah…personally, I will never forget how JT left Janet Jackson “out to dry” on that wardrobe malfunction bit that clearly he knew what was going to occur; yet informed the media, when asked, that he was as surprised as anyone else. That said, he has proven himself a good actor and he can carry a tune; as Warbucks, the rumor feels like a trial balloon. Studios are known to do that, too.

      Given that all casting is with performers under age 40, this rumor doesn’t hold the surprise it would have years ago. Does a “young” Daddy Warbucks make sense? Like everything else, it’s about demographics and marketshare. Nobody will honestly listen to anything else.

  4. No. Just no.

  5. I don’t have a problem with him…I just don’t think he is right for this role. But he may surprise me.

  6. Jay-Z already sampled Hard-Knock Life and JT used to rock the Annie fro back in his NSYNC days. This makes sense….

  7. Timberlake as a rich music producer who adopts Annie?

  8. Boring. He should play Beavis in a live action Beavis & Butt Head movie. Just look at his profile LOL!

  9. I think JT is a fine actor with the roles he has been given. But I don’t see this movie being much more than a snooze-fest.

  10. Sounds like a great casting choice to me, but then I read James Avery and my mouth watered!! What an inspired choice that would be!

    Throw in Calrton dancing and Geoffrey put downs and you’ve got yourself a sure fire hit!!

    • Avery would be OUTSTANDING as Daddy Warbucks. How about Alfonso Ribeiro as Rooster?!?!?

  11. id prefer someone like kevin spacey or RDJ to play the role. JT is a decent actor but not for something like this

    • I didn’t think of Kevin Spacey. He WOULD be great as Daddy Warbucks. Good one!!! Robert Downey Jr. would be a legit choice, too, but I would go with Spacey first.

  12. I’m okay with this, Timberlake is actually a great bullet for a shot in the dark. There are far worse they could choose from

  13. smooooth

  14. One should well-question the merit in doing a remake of ANNIE. Perhaps its value is in whatever innovations, inventions and imagination the producers bring to this show; a director with a vision and ideas; and a writer capable of launching an unexpected narrative from the source material. In other words, if a worthwhile story is not on the page, don’t look for it on the stage — even with top-notch production values.

    Because the role of Annie is cast with a black actress, will the end result be DREAMGIRLS or the remake of SPARKLE? Either way, that’s not saying much. Try DIRTY DANCING, a musical we care a little something about.

    I wish this production all the luck, because they’re going to need it. But I had hope for something much more (and different) for Quvenzhané Wallis. I still do.

  15. No, thanks. Obviously Sir Patrick Stewart is perfect for this role!!!!

  16. My Top 3 Choices for Daddy Warbucks (though, I do think James Avery would make an outstanding Daddy Warbucks):
    1. John Goodman
    2. Cedric the Entertainer
    3. Philip Seymour Hoffman

  17. You are all assuming that this will be a musical. This will probably be a modern takr on old source material. Mich like Easy A was the same for The Scarlet Letter. White writers and directors. Jay z and The Smiths are as a mainstream as anyone could be. Why are people expecting a “urban” or “Black” version? Was The ZKarate Kid an urban version of the original? Think people.