Will Smith may be gearing up to produce a remake of Annie with his daughter, Willow Smith, in the lead, Variety is reporting.
Details are few at this stage (and, indeed, unconfirmed all around), but the article suggests that Jay-Z may be involved in either updating the songs of the Broadway musical or providing new material altogether. The rapper recently worked with Willow on her single, “Whip My Hair.”
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 a 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.