The movie remake of Annie will begin filming in the American spring next year, with Jay-Z and Will Smith at the helm.
NME reports that Smith’s 11-year-old daughter, Willow Smith, will star in the film, while Jay-Z, who sampled a song from the classic Annie musical for his 1998 single Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) will provide the soundtrack.
The remake will be based on the 1982 film adaptation of the original Broadway musical, but will be set in modern day New York.
Taking on scripting duties is English actor-screenwriter Emma Thompson, who told the BBC that she has been “writing the script for nearly three years”.
“In the autumn, we get to go to LA to work with Willow and work on more of the script. Jay-Z has already started working on the music. We will start shooting in the spring in New York.”
Thompson also revealed she was extremely excited to be working with Smith’s 11-year-old daughter.
“I really like Willow. She is getting so tall. I mean both Willow and Jaden (Smith, brother) are remarkable.”
The original production of Annie opened on Broadway in 1977 and ran for six years. The 1982 film version was directed by John Huston and starred Aileen Quinn in the lead role alongside Albert Finney, Tim Curry and Carol Burnett.