Will Gluck’s musical adaptation Annie looks to have found its Daddy Warbucks. The Hollywood Reporter today brings word that Jamie Foxx has entered talks to play the role, although the character will be renamed Benjamin Stacks. He’d join Quvenzhané Wallis in the title role.
Based on a daily comic strip that debuted in 1924, “Little Orphan Annie” told the story of a little girl who, after escaping from an orphanage, is taken in by the rich Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks.
The comic strip, originally created by Harold Gray, continued long after the author’s death, ceasing publication only recently (The final strip ran in June of last year and featured a shockingly dark cliffhanger finale for those only familiar with the stage version of the character).
Better known as a Broadway show, the strip was adapted in 1977 as Annie and is famous for musical numbers that include “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” (sampled by Jay-Z on “Hard Knock Life,” his third album, the title inspired by the original song).
The show was adapted for the screen twice, including a 1982 John Huston version and a 1999 made-for-TV Disney movie.
Foxx, who recently lead Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, can soon be seen in Roland Emmerich’s White House Down. He’s also currently filming Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in which he plays Max “Electro” Dillon.
Annie will be produced by James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through their Overbrook Entertainment banner, and by Shawn Jay Z Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran Ty Ty Smith through Marcy Media. Gluck will revise the films screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical stage play Annie, book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and on Little Orphan Annie. The film will be set in the modern day.
Annie hits theaters December 25, 2014.
(Photo Credit: Brian To / WENN.com)