Sony's remake of "Annie" has settled on a director, but lost its leading lady.
According to Deadline.com and Variety, Will Gluck has been hired to direct "Annie," and one of his first jobs will be finding a leading lady: Willow Smith, who had been attached to star as the title little orphan since the project was announced in 2011, is no longer set to star. As Deadline.com notes, the pop star, now 12, is too old for the role. (Paging Quvenzhane Wallis?)
The "Annie" remake was first announced in January of 2011. Smith's father, Will Smith, was the driving force behind the project, via his Overbrook Entertainment production company, while Jay-Z was attached to work on the music. In February of 2011, Deadline.com reported that Ryan Murphy was the top choice to direct the film, but Murphy passed on directing the musical remake in March.
Little "Annie" movement happened until this past summer, when Aline Brosh McKenna was brought on to re-write the script (which was initially written by Emma Thompson, because this is real life).
Gluck is a frequent Sony collaborator; he made the romantic comedies "Easy A" and "Friends With Benefits" for the studio. Sony is shooting to have "Annie" in theaters, without any hair-whipping from Willow Smith, by 2014.