Will Smith Preparing Annie Remake?

Potential vehicle for daughter Willow

This sounds like an April fool, but it's only January so we ought to give some credence to Variety's report that Will Smith is setting up an Annie remake at Sony, with Jay-Z at work on the music, and Smith's daughter Willow set for the title role. It's a hard knock life for Willow. 'Stead of kisses, she gets movies.

This wouldn't be the first time Smith has produced a star vehicle for his progeny of course: last summer's Karate Kid was the same kind of deal for Jaden, and its $350m box office gross isn't likely to harm Annie's chances of going ahead. Willow already has a hit single under her belt in the form of the dodgy-sounding Whip My Hair, and isn't a movie novice either: she was in I Am Legend with her dad.

Jay-Z clearly has a thing for showtunes, having sampled Annie's Hard Knock Life and Oliver's I'd Do Anything. Variety's sources are staying tight-lipped about the new Annie's potential score though. Given that Little Orphan Annie was a comic strip long before it was a musical, and long afterwards too (it ran from 1924 and until last summer) the line here is possibly "new adaptation" rather than "remake", which would at least be an interesting direction, and might mean completely new music.

Time will tell, since Annie 2.0 is still at the development stage. We're guessing its unlikely that the film will take the final strip's bizarre direction of having Annie kidnapped by a Balkan war criminal though.