October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster        

Will Smith, Jay-Z want to remake “Annie” with young Willow Smith?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The Will Smith Remake Train continues to chug along, according to reports.

And why not? Smith’s reimagining of “The Karate Kid,” with son Jaden in the lead role of a bullied teen learning to fight back, was a global smash, earning $359 million worldwide. It makes sense that Smith would seek another project from our past to retrofit for a new generation.

That’s exactly what he’d like to do with “Annie,” the age-old story of a plucky orphan and the adventures she has with adopted father Daddy Warbucks.

Originally a comic strip from the 1920s, Annie was created by Harold Gray and has several different “parents” over the years. The character has been the star of stage and screen versions, most notably one directed by John Huston released in 1982 with Albert Finney as Warbucks and Carol Burnett as wicked Miss Hannigan.

It’s this version that Smith would update, according to Variety, by placing his daughter, Willow, in the lead role. Smith reportedly is negotiating with rap superstar Jay-Z – who had a hit, himself, with an “Annie” mash up “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” – to do the film’s music.

Truthfully? That sounds like a mega-hit in the making.

We’re still very early in the process, but with Smith behind the wheel, bank on “Annie” happening sometime soon.

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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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