LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Quvenzhane Wallis, fresh from the Oscars spotlight as the youngest ever best actress nominee, is to play “Annie” in a Tinseltown remake of the hit Broadway musical, filmmakers said.
The nine-year-old, who drew praise for her amazingly mature performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” will play the title role in “Annie,” also a remake of the Oscar-nominated 1982 movie. “With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, (Wallis) is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star,” said Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures production head.
“She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her.”
The new “Annie” - produced by Overbrook Entertainment, Marcy Media and Sony Pictures - will be released around December 2014, directed by Will Gluck and with producers including James Lassiter, Will Smith and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.
Gluck is currently revising the film’s screenplay, written by British actress Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the stage musical. Wallis - whose favorite pastimes include singing and dancing, basketball, volleyball and cheerleading, according to the filmmakers - has already worked on an upcoming film, “Twelve Years a Slave” with Brad Pitt. She also has made “Boneshaker,” a short about an African family lost in America.