Ryan Murphy Offered Annie
Glee creator is Sony's top choice
With the juggernaut success of Glee, its creator Ryan Murphy is now the The Man when it comes to Hollywood musicals. Not that there are that many of those currently, but his name has been linked with the Oz-riffing Wicked and a new Rocky Horror Picture Show, and now Murphy is top of Sony's wish-list to direct the new Annie.
Annie, as previously reported, is being cooked up by Will Smith and Jay-Z as a star vehicle for Smith's daughter Willow. The line here is "reimagining", so it's not clear yet if we're talking about an updated version of the existing Broadway musical (previously filmed in 1982 and 1999), or an entirely new beast with new songs, only connected to what went before by being adapted from the long-running comic strip.
Last year's The Karate Kid, also part-produced by Smith and starring one of his offspring, turned out to be a happy experience for all concerned. But Willow has a shorter CV than her brother Jaden (although she was in I Am Legend and has had a hit single) so a pair of hands as safe as Murphy's must seem very attractive to the studio. He has that Glee experience of getting strong musical performances out of young actors, and there's also the small matter of Eat, Pray, Love, which he directed for Sony to the tune of $200m in worldwide box office.
On the back of that, Murphy has a $5m deal to make another film with Julia Roberts. Could Annie be it? Julia Roberts for Agatha Hannigan?