New 'Annie' movie less about 'Tomorrow' and all about today
By Jill Serjeant
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Forget the curly red hair and Depression-era orphans.
The hit musical "Annie" moves firmly into the 21st century in a new film version where the star is a street-smart African-American foster kid who rides New York buses, and her savior is a black cell phone billionaire who will stop at nothing to become mayor.
"Tomorrow" is still the signature song, but the "Annie," produced by a team that includes rapper Jay-Z and actor Will Smith, is all about today.
Quvenzhane Wallis, 11, who two years ago became the youngest person to win a Best Actress Oscar nomination, plays the foster kid living a hard-knock life in the multiethnic version of the Tony-winning 1977 Broadway musical that opens in U.S. movie theaters on Friday.
Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks is transformed from a 1930s industrialist into the workaholic telecoms tycoon Will Stacks, (Jamie Foxx), while actor Bobby Cannavale adds a topical, satirical edge as his scheming political campaign adviser.
The musical's famous songs get a pop music makeover, sprinkled with the sounds of street jackhammers and trash can lids, and Annie's fake parents are found in mass reality TV-style auditions.
Cannavale said the updates bring the beloved musical "to a contemporary American audience which is one of many different colors, shapes, sizes and ethnicities."
"It is really exciting that kids can go and see themselves now in this movie in a way they were not able to before," Cannavale told Reuters Continued...