Qunvenzhane Wallis didn’t take home the big prize last night for her performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” but the youngster has plenty to celebrate. Wallis, who is the youngest Best Actress Oscar nominee ever, will star as Annie is the upcoming contemporary adaptation, produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z.
Will Gluck, director of “The Scarlett Letter” update, “Easy A,” will direct the project. Gluck has updated the screenplay, which was originally written by Emma Thompson. The film is expected to be released in the 2014 holiday season.
“With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhane Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star,” Sony production president Hannah Minghella said in a statement, according to Deadline. “She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her.”
Since her turn in Beast of the Southern Wild, Wallis shot a small role in Steve McQueen’s upcoming film, “Twelve Years a Slave.”
Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada, was originally slated to play Annie.