Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Thanks to the wild popularity of Glee, Ryan Murphy has become a first choice for any film musical. We’ve heard his name bandied about as a choice for a Rocky Horror Picture Show remake and the film version of Wicked. And now he is evidently the top choice to direct the new version of Annie that Sony is prepping as a vehicle for Willow Smith.
Sony and Will Smith‘s company Overbrook Entertainment (which has partnered with Jay-Z for this and other films) wants to concoct a film that can do for Willow Smith what The Karate Kid remake did for Jaden Smith. And thanks to the single ‘Whip My Hair,’ the girl is probably already a lot more popular than her brother. (Or better-known, at least, which as GI Joe will agree is half the popularity battle.)
Deadline offers that Sony has approached Mr. Murphy about the job, but that it is “early days.” He directed Eat, Pray, Love for the studio, and that did well, so combine that with his obvious feel for the musical and this seems like the most obvious one-name shortlist ever. That doesn’t mean he’ll take the job.
So is Ryan Murphy a good choice to direct? I honestly don’t know, not being a Glee watcher. We know almost nothing about the ideas that are behind the script, other than ‘turn Willow Smith into a film star.’ That, and the songs, will be a huge part of any potential success for the film.
I’m more interested in The Normal Heart, the film Mr. Murphy said he would direct with Mark Ruffalo starring and a tentative start date in June of this year. It’s an adaptation of a play about the early outbreak of AIDS in New York City — serious stuff, and a real dramatic turn away from the other films he’s been offered.