After last week’s news of Jay-Z and Will Smith teaming up for an “Annie” remake, Jay-Z confirmed the news via a brief written statement.
“The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision,” Jay stated. “We’ve already produced a Tony Award winning play and we’re developing a true superstar in WIllow. This venture into film development and production is a perfect next step with teams that are accomplished, creative, and innovative.”
The “Annie” remake would be at least the third time the pair has worked together, after both men were listed as producers of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Fela!” Smith’s daughter, Willow, is also signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint. Willow’s platinum-selling single, “Whip My Hair” has been on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 singles chart for 13 weeks, peaking at the number 11 spot. Willow would be the second Smith sibling to appear in a major motion picture release. Her brother, Jaden Smith, appeared in 2010’s “The Karate Kid,” which brought in $19 million of gross sales during its opening weekend before eventually crossing the $100 million threshold.
“The time is right to bring back ‘Annie’ to the big screen,” said Colombia Pictures President, Doug Belgrad via written statement. “Of course, we’re true believers in Willow’s talent and believe she will be perfect in this role. Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that re-imagined ‘Karate Kid’ and the spectacular Jay-Z makes this a dream project. A decade ago, Jay-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation with ‘Hard Knock Life.’”