The youngest-ever Oscar Best-Actress nominee is set to portray the orphan girl in the movie co-produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z.
Fresh off her critically-acclaimed role in "Beasts of the Southern Wild", Quvenzhane Wallis is signed on to star in upcoming movie "Annie" that has Will Smith and Jay-Z among the producers. The nine-year-old actress who becomes the youngest Best Actress nominee in Oscar history is tapped to play the titular character in the new take on the classic orphan girl.
"With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhane Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star," says Sony Pictures' President of Production Hannah Minghella. "She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can't wait for audiences to further discover her."
Willow Smith was previously courted for the role, but she turned it down. "Willow was supposed to be doing Annie, we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with 'Whip My Hair' and she said, 'You know Daddy, I don't think so'," her father said as quoted by Hiphopwired.
"And I said, 'Baby, hold up! I said no, no, no, listen, you'll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyonce will be there. You will be singing and dancing,' and she looked at me and said, 'Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12," Will continued.