Quvenzhané Wallis Confirmed for ‘Annie’

Quvenzhané Wallis went home empty-handed from last night’s Oscars, but here’s some good news for her. The Beasts of the Southern Wild star has just been confirmed for the title role in Annie, weeks after we learned that she was in the mix.

Though Wallis is the first confirmed actor, Sony’s remake of the classic musical already has some notable talent behind the scenes. Will Gluck (Easy A) is directing from a script written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna, with Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jay-Z producing. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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At 9 years old, Quvenzhané Wallis already has the kind of career many actresses would kill for. Her very first starring turn, in Beasts of the Southern Wild, netted her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, making her the youngest-ever contender in the category. Her next film, Twelve Years a Slave, puts her among a star-studded cast under renowned director Steve McQueen. Now she’s in the mix for the iconic title role in Annie, Sony’s remake of the beloved Broadway musical. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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After making three movies in three years (2009′s Fired Up!, 2010′s Easy A, and 2011′s Friends With Benefits), filmmaker Will Gluck has spent the past couple of years weighing his options for his next project. At various points, he’s circled the heist flick Sex on the Moon, the action comedy Secretaries Day, the true crime caper Skyjack, and a reunion with his Easy A star Emma Stone. Now he’s in talks for yet another new directing gig, the Will Smith and Jay-Z-produced modern-day remake of Annie.

As Gluck comes aboard, however, one of the project’s longest attached talents has decided to depart. Smith’s daughter Willow Smith, for whom the film was being developed as a starring vehicle, will no longer be playing the lead. More details after the jump.

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Will Gluck, who made the very funny Easy A as well as this year’s Friends With Benefits, may detour into a true and very strange story with one of his new opportunities. The guy has quite a few upcoming projects, including a re-team with Emma Stone, a great sex comedy heist story called Sex on the Moon, and several other options all in various stages of ‘maybe’ development.

But the novel Skyjack: The Hunt For D.B. Cooper is being set up at CBS Films, and the company has hired Gluck to produce and direct. And while Skyjack is being developed as an action comedy — a form that Gluck is working with for other films, and an increasingly common genre combination — the story is unique in that it follows a man who hijacked a plane, demanded cash and parachutes, then leapt from the craft. He was never found, and thus never caught. Read More »

Thanks to the dual successes of last year’s Easy A and this year’s Friends with Benefits, director Will Gluck is on a hot streak right now. He’s been attached to helm the reality-based moon rock heist movie (really) Sex on the Moon since the spring, has plans to produce a remake of Ed Zwick’s About Last Night…, and could be reuniting with Easy A star Emma Stone for another Screen Gems pic. And that’s just on the silver screen — he’s also executive producing the upcoming TV series Mrs. Miller, with Ugly Betty developer Silvio Horta.

Now Gluck’s newest gig is Secretaries Day, which thankfully is not a sequel to Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, but an action comedy from Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce. More details after the jump.

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In January it was announced that The Social Network producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti would reteam to produce an  adaptation of author Ben Mezrich‘s (who wrote  The Accidental Billionaires, upon which The Social Network was based) new book proposal Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History. A director has been hired to bring the book to the big screen.

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‘Friends With Benefits’ Trailer

2011′s second film featuring a Black Swan starlet having casual sex now has an official trailer. Friends With Benefits was written and directed by Easy A director Will Gluck and stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as a couple who have a very convenient friendship, with benefits, that gets predictably complicated, as these things tend to do. It co-stars Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman, Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, and Andy Samberg. A red band trailer was released well in advance of this, the theatrical trailer, so while this isn’t the first official look at the film, it’s the one general audiences are going to see. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

Briefly: Here’s the lineage of About Last Night…: in 1974 David Mamet published the play Sexual Perversity in Chicago. In 1986 Ed Zwick directed a film that adapted the play with a much more approachable title (About Last Night…) and a pretty but effective cast that included Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. Then, in 2010, we heard that Screen Gems might put a new version of About Last Night… into development. In 2011 this came to pass, produced by Easy A director Will Gluck.

As things stand now there is no writer or director on board, much less a cast to play new versions of a couple (Lowe and Moore, originally) who meet in Chicago, fall for one another, and then have to navigate the tricky waters of commitment. Will Gluck probably won’t end up writing and directing this himself because he’s got another comedy booked with his Easy A star Emma Stone after she’s done with Spider-Man. [Variety]

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