Will Smith, Jay-Z team to remake "Annie"

Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:36pm EST

Willow Smith, set to star in her father's ''Annie'' remake, attends the premiere of the film ''Imagine That'' in Los Angeles June 6, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Willow Smith, set to star in her father's ''Annie'' remake, attends the premiere of the film ''Imagine That'' in Los Angeles June 6, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith are partnering with Jay-Z to release movies.

One of the first projects they're discussing is a remake of the Broadway classic "Annie," in which the Smiths' daughter, Willow, 9, would star.

Jay-Z sampled the tune "It's a Hard Knock Life," from the "Annie" musical, in his hit "Hard Knock Live (Ghetto Anthem)."

The film will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter).

Jada, Will, Lassiter and Jay-Z decided to form the partnership over a recent dinner. They also co-invested in beauty products line Carol's Daughter, and co-produced the Broadway production of "Fela!," which earned 11 Tony Award nominations in 2010.

Willow Smith signed onto Jay-Z's record label, Roc Nation, which produced her first single titled "Whip My Hair," which has been certified Platinum.

"The time is right to bring back 'Annie' to the big screen. Of course, we're true believers in Willow's talent and believe she will be perfect in this role," said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad in a statement. "Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined 'Karate Kid' and the spectacular Jay-Z makes this a dream project."

Said Jay-Z in a statement, "The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision. We've already produced a Tony Award winning play and we're developing a true superstar in Willow."

Overbrook Entertainment has generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue by producing some of Smith's films like "Ali," "Hitch," "Pursuit of Happyness," "I Am Legend" and "The Karate Kid."

(Editing by Zorianna Kit)

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Comments (2)
Zadi wrote:
No…No…No! Wasn’t ‘The Wiz’ enuf! This is minstrelsy in reverse!!

Jan 26, 2011 3:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chrisbr wrote:
You can manufacture a product, however you cannot manufacture an artist. Anyone who can carry a tune can sing, given enough voice lessons. Anyone with decent coordination can dance, given enough lessons. A true artist simply cannot create without some sort of suffering in life. These Smith kids have never wanted for anything, with their success being handed to them on a silver platter. I can hear it now… “You won’t have to worry about those silly audition processes sweetie, Daddy will create a production company just for you”. The Smith kids are merely manufactured products. Of course this is nothing new, Disney has been churning out products in the form of children for years.

Jan 26, 2011 4:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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