Jay-Z understands the power of "Annie" better than most, Will Smith loves to produce big-budget remakes for his kids and Emma Thompson has shown a fondness for kids movies, so, really this all makes perfect sense.
Jay-Z and Smith have reached out to Thompson to write a big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical "Annie," as a starring vehicle for Smith's daughter, Willow, reported Vulture. Seeing as Smith last year bought his son Jaden the lead role in the "Karate Kid" remake, it's the least he can do for his little girl.
This all makes sense for myriad reasons, beginning with Thompson and Smith having worked together on "Men in Black III," Smith and Jay-Z having co-produced the Broadway musical "Fela!" and Jay-Z having sampled "Annie" for his 1997 hit "Hard Knock Life." Throw in the fact that Thompson has written, directed and starred in two films based on the "Nanny McPhee" books, so presumably, she'd be comfortable with "Annie," and it all seems too easy.
It's been 30 years since John Houston directed the last film adaptation of "Annie," starring Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry. The film was a minor hit, but hardly a game-changer.