Sony Pictures dropped the second trailer for the rebooting of Broadway classic, Annie, providing a more focused look at Jamie Foxx as Will Stacks (updated from the originals’ adorable but equally cheesy ‘Daddy Warbucks’) and Quvenzhané Wallis as Annie. Take a look and then we can discuss:
Aside from the modern-period time setting (the original was set in 1933) and the modern diversity of the cast, this looks pretty close to the source material. Frankly, I think the basic concept is timeless and see no harm in adapting the story for a new generation. I do hope that the Jay-Z version of “Hard Knock Life” is confined to the closing credits and a more traditional musical approach is taken with the actual songs in the movie, but even that could be a fun twist if handled properly. What won’t work is a thudding bass-line added to songs like, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile.”
Speaking of the musical aspects of this new adaptation; there are a few numbers in the original stage version that will certainly need to be re-written (or else cut completely) such as, “We’d Like To Thank You Herbert Hoover” – sung by the denizens of a makeshift community of homeless – which might end up as a good excuse to use the recent economic collapse as a cultural stand-in for the Great Depression of the ’30s which inspired the original scene. Annie purists can rest easy, however, knowing that all musical concerns are being addressed by the original creative team of the musical’s composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin.
The film is co-produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z. It stars Quvenzhané Wallis (12 Years A Slave) as the titular character, as well as Cameron Diaz as the cruel Miss Hannigan and Rose Byrne as Grace Farrell, assistant to Foxx’s Stacks, and Annie’s mother figure. Director Will Gluck, best known for 2010’s Easy A, had a hand in adapting the script along with writer Aline McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and Academy-Award winning Actress (and celebrated writer) Emma Thompson.