Will Smith confirms: Willow will star in modern day ‘Annie’ film

SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 22: Actress Willow Smith attends the Premiere Of Sundance Selects' 'First Position' at Aero Theatre on April 22, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 22: Actress Willow Smith attends the Premiere Of Sundance Selects' 'First Position' at Aero Theatre on April 22, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

It’s official: the Smith family is ready for another big screen close-up. In an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, on Wednesday, Will Smith confirmed that the youngest of the Smith clan, Willow, 11, would be following in her parents and older brother Jayden’s (The Karate Kid) footsteps, with a starring role in the modernized film version of the 1982 musical Annie

Will Smith, who is slated to produce the Sony Pictures project, also confirmed to Good Morning America that his Men In Black 3 co-star, Oscar winner Emma Thompson, wrote the script for the contemporary Annie film. 

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The film will be set in modern-day New York and will feature a host of new updated songs. Hip-hop, mogul, and hit maker Jay-Z is in charge of the music and is expected to write new musical tracks for the soundtrack.  Jay-z is not new to re-imagining Annie tracks.  His 1998 hit single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” featured samples from the Broadway musical version.

Willow told People magazine in 2011 that she wanted Brad Pitt to star as her adoptive father, Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks.  The rest of the cast has yet to be announced and they are still looking for a production team as Annie is set to begin filming in 2013.

“We’re looking for directors so the management will come up with a director in the next week or two weeks,” Thompson told the BBC.

The Smith family will have enough to keep them busy until then.  Will Smith is still promoting Men In Black 3, his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, is focusing on her own music and TV show; son Jayden is pursuing his acting career; and Willow, the girl who had the world “whipping” their hair, is still producing music.  Two years ago, she was signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation record label. 

Do you think audiences will accept Willow Smith in this iconic role?’

Follow Dominique Z. Scott on Twitter @Domscottwrites