Annie (2014) Poster



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Sandra Bullock was originally considered to play Miss Hannigan, but she declined the role, citing once how she "hates musicals and vows to never star in one." Cameron Diaz then signed on to replace Bullock.
The film was originally envisioned by Will Smith in 2011 as a star vehicle for his daughter Willow Smith with Jay Z playing Will Stacks. However, the film lingered in development, and by the time production was ready in 2013, Willow had aged too much to play Annie. Quvenzhané Wallis, just off her tremendous success with Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), was chosen to replace Willow for Annie while Jamie Foxx was chosen to replace Jay Z as Will Stacks.
The Italian restaurant that Annie visits is named "Domani," a translation of "Tomorrow", the title of this musical's best-known song.
Justin Timberlake and Brad Pitt were allegedly considered to play William Stacks before Jamie Foxx was signed.
Although due to be released just before Christmas, the movie was released online 3 weeks early by hackers. The hackers, known as The Guardians of Peace, hacked Sony in protest against the upcoming release of The Interview (2014). In all, four movies were released, expected to cost Sony millions of dollars in lost revenue from ticket sales. However, of the four, the online release of this one was expected to have the least impact: "Internet pirates are mostly twenty-something males," says Phil Contino, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. "That's obviously not who 'Annie' is aimed at."
When Will Stacks is serving mashed potatoes, he quotes The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990), which starred (and in later seasons was produced by) Will Smith, a producer of this film.
This is the musical debut for the following people: writer/director Will Gluck, producers Jay Z and Will Smith, and actors Quvenzhané Wallis, and Rose Byrne.
This is the third motion picture adaptation of Strouse and Charnin's Annie. The first was director John Huston's original big-screen version (Annie (1982)), in which star Albert Finney did a vocal impersonation of Huston. The second was Rob Marshall's well-regarded and more faithful adaptation (The Wonderful World of Disney: Annie (1999)).
At a bar, Guy and Miss Hannigan see a band named "Leaping Lizards," a popular catchphrase from the Annie comic strip. Also the actress who played "Annie" in the 1982 musical version (Aileen Quinn) has a band with the same name.
Unlike the other film adaptations of Annie, producers Jay Z and Will Smith envisioned this version as "a modern re-imagining of a beloved musical".
Sony Pictures Entertainment, owner of Columbia Pictures, slated "Annie" for a December 19, 2014, release, where it would face big competition from an another film musical, Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (2014), directed by Rob Marshall and made by Walt Disney Pictures. Rob Marshall and Walt Disney Pictures collaborated with Columbia Pictures on the successful and well-regarded The Wonderful World of Disney: Annie (1999) in 1999.
Early on, Ryan Murphy, following the great success of his show Glee (2009), was considered to direct the film. He declined the opportunity.
In the film, the characters portrayed by Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale play somewhat enemies, when in reality the two actors have been in a relationship since December 2012. They also play husband and wife in the movie Adult Beginners that was also released in 2014.
When William Stacks takes Annie and her friends to a movie, the actors for said movie are named Andrea Alvin and Simon Goodspeed, which are nods to the original Broadway production. Andrea McArdle played Annie in the play's Broadway premiere at the Alvin Theatre. Goodspeed is the theater that Annie premiered at before Broadway.
Producer Jay Z once had a hit in 1998 with "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)", using samples from "It's the Hard Knock Life" in Annie (1982).
In late 2014, Charles Strouse (the composer of the original musical's score) gave an interview to Vanity Fair in which he talked about what he liked and didn't like about this movie adaptation. One thing he didn't like was the fact that although Jay Z did consult Strouse in the initial stages of conceiving the remake, and though Strouse said he "was paid handsomely for my share of the rights," Strouse and the other original creators of the musical did not get to revise and update their own songs or write any of the new songs in the movie. Something Strouse did enthusiastically endorse about this movie version was the casting of Quvenzhané Wallis in the lead role (he called her performance "amazing") and, more generally, the idea of casting nonwhite actresses in the role--something he said he had been lobbying for since the first Broadway run of the show back in the 1970s.
When Stacks rescues Annie from the truck, the shot includes a building sign "Punjab Imports" (or similar). Punjab was a character in the strip and in Annie (1982) (played by Geoffrey Holder). He wore a turban and was probably a Sikh and added to the exotic, worldly aura of Daddy Warbucks.
This is the second musical film for Jamie Foxx since Dreamgirls (2006) and Bobby Cannavale since Romance & Cigarettes (2005).
In the song "It's the Hard Knock Life", the original line, "No-one cares for you a smidge when you're in an orphanage" was changed to "no one cares a bit when you're a foster kid".
This movie's version of the song "It's the Hard-Knock Life" omits the original's line "You'll stay up till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building," but the film later includes several aerial shots of the actual top of the Chrysler Building instead.
Singer Sia composed some of the soundtrack for the film and also has a cameo appearance in the film as her acting debut.
In the beginning of the film, the classroom blackboard filled with presidents' names additionally has Thomas Meehan, the writer of the original musical's book, Charles Strouse, who wrote the music, and Martin Charnin, who wrote the lyrics.
The girl in the first scene of the movie, giving her report, is likely meant to pay homage to the original Annie from 1982 (i.e. the red, curly hair and the red cardigan). This girl is Taylor Richardson who played Annie on Broadway.
The incumbent mayor is named for the original creator of 'Little Orphan Annie', Harold Gray.
In the film Bad Teacher (2011) Cameron Diaz is seen wearing an Orphan Annie wig. In both that film and this, her character has a bad attitude about children even though her job involves always being around children.
Actress and writer Emma Thompson was attached for a long time to the project as the screenwriter. She wrote several drafts, but ultimately her version was not considered for the final result.
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In late 2014, Sony Pictures was the victim of a major hack of their computer systems in which confidential corporate information and several unreleased complete movies were posted for public consumption. Among reams of other information, DVD-quality downloads of this movie appeared online before its official cinematic release.
This film reunites co-stars Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz for the second time in 15 years since Any Given Sunday (1999).
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Phil Lord and Christopher Miller directed the clips from the fictional film MoonQuake Lake, and their names appear during the clips.
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In Lou's shop there is a signed photograph of Cameron Diaz at the side of the counter
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Released on the same day as The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). Both are remakes of earlier films. Annie (1982) was directed by John Huston, who also provided the voice of Gandalf in The Hobbit (1977).
On the Second and Third Installments of the Austin Powers Trilogy, Doctor Evil performs his own renditions of Will Smith's "Just the Two of Us" and Jay Z's "It's a Hard Knock Life". Coincidentally, Will Smith and Jay Z co-produced Annie (2014) and "It's a Hard Knock Life" borrowed sound bites from Annie (1982).
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In Harold Gray's campaign video with Michael J. Fox, the music behind it is the song "NYC" from the Broadway musical Annie originally sung by Mr. Warbucks.
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Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje have all appeared in superhero films. Foxx played supervillain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Byrne appears as Moira McTaggart in the X-Men franchise, Cannavale as Paxton in Ant-Man (2015), and Akkinuoye-Agbaje as Algrim / Kurse in Thor: The Dark World (2013) and villain Killer Croc in Suicide Squad (2016). Although it is not a film production, David Zayas appears as Sal Maroni in the TV series Gotham (2014).
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In homage to the Daddy Warbucks character that Jamie Foxx is playing in the remake, William Stacks, is actually bald. He just wears a wig to hide it.
Annie gives a report on FDR and the New Deal. In the original, Annie gets to meet FDR as President.
Second time Jamie Foxx brings on a child on a helicopter ride. The first one being in "White House Down" where Foxx (President Sawyer) brings on Emily Cale (Joey King) into his helicopter. In this movie, Foxx (Will Stacks) brings on Annie (Quevenzhané Wallace) to a helicopter ride.
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