Quvenzhané Wallis, the nine-year-old Actress who won over audiences worldwide with her debut performance in the Academy Award-nominated indie film Beasts of the Southern Wild, is about to take a huge step into the mainstream for her next starring film role.
Wallis, who is the youngest person in history to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, will play the lead role of Annie in upcoming remake of the famous musical. Wallis was rumored for the role in recent weeks, but was confirmed for the part today in an announcement by Columbia Pictures.
The film, which has been in development for several years, was originally set to star Willow Smith, daughter of megastar producers Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. However, Smith dropped out of the film recently, opening up the spot for the rising young Wallis.
The Annie remake should be a perfect fit for Wallis, who won over audiences worldwide with her performance as the brave, resourceful, and confident Hushpuppy in Beasts. The character of Annie, which is based on the 1930s comic strip Little Orphan Annie, will require the same tenacious and plucky spirit.
Will Gluck (Easy A) will direct Wallis in the role from a script by Emma Thompson, which was rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna. In addition to Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie is produced by rapper and entrepreneur Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.
Before taking over the iconic role of Annie, Wallis will star alongside an all-star cast (including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Paul Giamatti) in director Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. Most Academy Awards viewers aren't expecting to see Quvenzhané Wallis take home the Academy Award for Best Actress tonight, but few people would argue that the young actress doesn't have a long and promising career ahead of her.
What do you think of Wallis' casting as Annie? Is the sprightly young actress a perfect fit for the role?
Filming for the Annie remake is expected to begin this Fall, ahead of a late 2014 theatrical release.