With Will Smith looking to launch daughter Willow's film career with a remake of "Annie," it only makes sense that he would turn to the man who helped repopularize the musical genre for the American audience to help him. Enter "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy, who Deadline.com reports is in negotiations to direct the project.
In addition to his work with "Glee," Murphy is as highly regarded at Sony Pictures — the studio that's overseeing the "Annie" remake — as Smith is, which is likely what helped him land the gig. He directed this past summer's Julia Roberts drama "Eat, Pray, Love" for Sony, and the studio was so impressed with him that they signed a $5 million deal for him to direct another picture with the movie star.
And Murphy's success with songs from musicals like "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Wicked" has led him to be courted to helm film versions of those productions as well.
Smith developed "The Karate Kid" with Sony as a star vehicle for his son Jaden, and its release last summer was considered a success. He followed up that '80s remake with the concept to do a new "Annie" flick with his daughter in the leading role. Though she has not had significant acting parts before (unlike Jaden, who made prominent appearances in "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still"), the 9-year-old has found success as a singer with her pop hit "Whip My Hair."
Negotiations with Murphy reportedly are still in their early stages, but it is clear that Smith and Sony are trying to get the film under way as quickly as possible. The idea for the "Annie" project was only announced last month, but if Murphy does come on board, don't be surprised if you hear the "Glee" kids singing "It's a Hard Knock Life"
in the near future.
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