Is Will Smith remaking the musical 'Annie' with daughter Willow?

Willow-Smith-AnnieImage Credit: James Coldrey/; Everett CollectionYou’ve gotta admit it — being Will Smith’s kid is a pretty sweet gig. Last year, the box-office heavyweight and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith produced an update of The Karate Kid as a star vehicle for their 12-year-old son Jaden. It worked. The film raked in more than $350 million worldwide. Now, Variety is reporting that the Smiths are talking to Sony about adapting the Broadway musical chestnut Annie for their 10-year-old daughter, Willow.

As you’re no doubt well aware, Willow already has a burgeoning singing career thanks to her infectious bubblegum single “Whip My Hair,” so her turn as Little Orphan Annie isn’t just some larkish vanity project arranged by a doting dad. But if these reports are true (Sony and Smith’s spokesperson both issued a “no comment”), then Willow may soon be singing “Tomorrow.” And then there’s this tantalizing possibility: Jay-Z, who collaborated with Willow on “Whip My Hair” (and who’s already proven that he’s quite familiar with the lyrics to “It’s the Hard Knock Life”) may be involved to work on the musical’s tunes.

If Annie does happen — and let’s be honest, if Will Smith wants it to happen, it will happen — it wouldn’t be Willow’s first time in front of the cameras. She had a part in her dad’s year 2007 movie I Am Legend and has done voice work in the animated Madagascar sequels. It’s not known whether there would be a part in the film for her brother Jaden, but we can think of someone who seems like a pretty good fit for Daddy Warbucks.

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  • Dean

    I can just imagine the movie execs at Sony rapidly pleasuring themselves under the boardroom table as they heard this pitch.

    • stu

      it didn’t work wjhen Brandy played Cinderella & it won’t fly here.
      send ur $ to africa 7 feed the children Willy.

      • nissa

        Send yours. My money is on Willow. Jealousy won’t stop this train.

      • lala

        ikr wit ha big ears

  • Anna

    Cue the haters in 3, 2, 1……

    • sara

      The haters? You mean the people who don’t like child exploitation?

      • hmmm

        I’m all about ambitious kids, but this little girl has gotten on my nerves already.

      • nissa

        No. We mean the haters who are jealous that they nor anyone in their family has this level of talent and commitment.Child exploitation…get outta here.

  • John C.

    Please stop forcing your annoying kids down our throats Mr. Smith.

    • miss k

      Geesh, he’s not making you watch the movie at gunpoint. Just don’t go see it.

    • therealeverton

      He’s forcing them on you how?

    • whit

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who is annoyed by the Smiths, and feels like they’re everywhere.

  • Brad

    I whip my curls back and forth.


  • Kat

    “[It] isn’t just some larkish vanity project arranged by a doting dad…” Yes, yes it is. It doesn’t mean that the movie will necessarily be bad – it might actually turn out to be very good – but let’s be honest about the motivations and call a spade a spade here.

    • amanda

      well said.

    • therealeverton

      Or he’s a parent trying to do the best for his kids? I’m a dad and there’s nothing I won’t do for my 2 girls, as long as it doesn’t spoil them. If I thought being in movies would be good for them and I coud make it happen, they’d be in movies. You saying you don’t want the best for yours? Or is it ok if you’re not the biggeast star on the planet?

  • Chris

    I can hear it now…”The sun will come out, tomorrow, when I whip my hair back and forth…”

    • angel

      UGH i hate how there gonna ruin a classic.

  • HD

    Why didn’t I see the second generation of Smiths coming? I am truly disraught.

  • ed

    I love Will Smith as an actor and in all his movies…but Will please stop with your kids. Jaden acting is not at all that great. I saw the ‘Karate Kid’ and his acting to me was below average. This Willow girl…I saw her video and her song…..i cant even speak anymore…its just horrible please stop Will. Make ‘I Am Legend 2′ please.

    “find thousands of entertainment jobs on careerDaddy com’

    • nissa

      So Ed, don’t watch. So simple. Why is that people who don’t have the talent to do something, implore the people who actually doing it to stop? Well, you’re insane and they will never stop so take your meds and go to bed.

  • the yapper

    Please no…i used to love will smith until he married Jada….he, she and their children are so full of themselves they’re difficult to watch. Please no don’t ruin Annie

  • Buffy Freak

    I loved it when Will tried to have us believe that Jaden auditioned for his first movie (Pursuit of happyness I think) and the producers/director has NO idea it was his kid until after they’d picked him.

  • Dave

    Umm, isn’t Annie supposed to have frizzy red hair and freckles? That’s pretty much her most important physical characteristic. Once you change that, it’s no longer Annie in my opinion.
    And yes, yes it is just a “larkish vanity project arranged by a doting dad.” I don’t really see how you can claim that it isn’t.
    And don’t respond to my comment calling me jealous or a “hater.” I’m not hating on anyone. Just telling it like it is.

  • MandiHeather

    Willow was also in Kit Kittridge: An American Girl with Abigail Breslin.

  • Nerwen Aldarion


  • therealeverton

    The only problem with this is that Annie is terrible; I can’t stand it at all.

    Still they managed to make an 80’s film centred on martial arts, with dreadful martial arts choreography, into a decent drama so maybe they’ll make this watchable. I doubt it and I plan on not finding out for as long as possible. Also Jaden is considered a very decent actor by people who know more about it than most of us and has done well in the 3 films I’ve seen him in; even the lamentable “Day The Earth Stood Still”. He was extremely good, both physically and dramatically in Karate Kid, and most people who don’t suffer from “Rose-tinted-past-a-vision” ™ are happy to say so. (See pg 1 of EW’s ‘Ghostbusters 3′ raises the question: should the ’80s be left alone? blog for more details.)

  • Allison

    I have to admit – I love the 1982 “Annie,” and I’ve been watching it a lot lately because my nephew likes it. I almost got a perm when I was four so I could be more like Annie.

    I really don’t like this idea. I like Will Smith. I can’t say anything about Jaden since I haven’t seen any of his movies. I did hear a little bit of “Whip My Hair” – not great. I just can’t see her singing through a whole movie.

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