It's a hard-knock life for the producers of Annie.
Willow Smith will no longer play the lead in her father Will Smith and Jay-Z's film remake of the classic musical, a statement from Smith's company Overbrook Entertainment confirms. Producers site production delays and the "Whip My Hair" singer's age as the reason for her bowing out of the project.
"Willow was nine years old when we started developing this project, and has since grown out of the role," the statement reads. But the company and Jay-Z, who is a producing partner on the project and is also writing new songs for it, insists that losing Willow does not mean the film has been shelved. In fact, rumors are swirling that both 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis and Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg are being considered for the part.
Jay-Z said in a statement: “For [my company] Marcy Media's first foray into film, we couldn't ask for better partners and mentors than Overbrook Entertainment. We are excited to work with [director] Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment. My well-known affinity for the classic "Hard Knock Life" makes Annie a natural vehicle to lead us into the world of the cinema."
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(Photo: Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images for vitaminwater)