You know it’s a 2014 Annie remake when Miss Hannigan has a Facebook profile and Annie gets her photo posted on Twitter. Oddly, the latest trailer for Will Gluck’s retelling of the popular Broadway musical doesn’t actually feature any singing or dancing, but it does establish the fact that Annie’s long-lost parents once wished to be reunited with her, and that they just might get their wish.
Produced by Jay-Z (who famously sampled “Hard Knock Life” in 1998) and starring Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis in the lead role, Annie is one of the big family movie releases set to hit theaters during the winter holidays this year, alongside Disney’s musical adaptation Into the Woods and the Ben Stiller threequel Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Jamie Foxx costars in Annie (2014) Will Stacks (the modern version of Daddy Warbucks), who saves little orphan Annie from being hit by a van. Hen is then advised by his mayoral campaign manager (Bobby Cannavale) to take the kid under his wing, as part of a PR move to win over the voters of New York City.
One of the more dubious performances seen in the trailers is Cameron Diaz as Annie’s mean foster mom, Miss Hannigan. Diaz definitely seems to be hamming it up for the role and from what we’ve seen so far this approach seems to straddle the line between “funny” and “cringeworthy” with a little too much wobble towards the latter. Perhaps it will end up suiting the tone of the film, though.
Annie has obviously undergone a few changes since the release of the 1982 film adaptation, and not just the inclusion of Facebook and Twitter. The renaming of Daddy Warbucks presumably has something to do with modern audiences no longer feeling overly affectionate towards war profiteers and arms dealers (unless they’re played by Robert Downey Jr.) and there was some negative backlash against the casting of an African-American actor as Annie.
However, if there has to be an Annie remake – and this is Hollywood, so there was inevitably going to be an Annie remake – then changing things up to make it more unique and relevant for modern kids is probably the best way to go. And those kids sure do love their Twitter.
Annie opens in U.S. theaters on December 19th, 2014.
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