If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Benh Zeitlin's 2012 indie drama hit 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' wasn't exactly the most optimistic film; certainly not one that instils one with a hope for a better tomorrow. And yet one prominent film role it may end up netting its young lead, Quvenzhané Wallis, will require her to look forward to a sunnier next day. Wallis is now in contention for the title role in Sony's remake of 'Annie.' The John Huston-directed 1982 adaptation of the Broadway musical told the story of a precocious orphan who is temporarily adopted by a cantankerous millionaire; changing her life, and his, forever. The new version will be produced by Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment as well as Jay-Z's Marcy Media. Will Gluck ('Easy A') has been hired to direct. Everyone involved was quick to assert that no official casting choices have been made at this point. For her role in 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' nine-year-old Wallis landed herself an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
This would be an inspired piece of casting. 'Annie' is a film that plenty of people recall from their childhoods, but it is far from being so sacred that a remake will illicit an uproar. I mean, the 1982 film was an adaptation of a Broadway musical that was itself an adaptation of a 1930s radio show based on a comic strip that took its name from a James Whitcomb Riley poem. Yeah, it's quite the rabbit hole to trace the roots here. Suffice to say that there is no one definitive version of this character. This is a story that could desperately use a re-imagining for contemporary audiences. The best thing that they could in order to sell that newer version of 'Annie' would be to hire a young actress with a great deal of talent and an electrifying screen presence. That's not the only thing that makes Quvenzhané Wallis the optimal choice for the role. Like Annie, Hushpuppy is a character who lives in deplorable conditions and one who, prior to her arrival at Daddy Warbucks home, could not catch a break. Bottom line here is that Wallis is an actress with talent beyond her years who is familiar with playing adversity-ridden leads. Leapin' lizards, what more could you want?
What do you guys think? Would you be interested in an 'Annie' remake? Is Quvenzhané Wallis the right choice for the lead?