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Willow Smith, 13, shocked plenty of fans last year when she dropped out of the big-budget remake of Annie starring Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz -- especially since her father Will Smith is producing it -- and in a new interview with Teen Vogue, Willow reveals that it was "intuition" that led to her walking away from the high-profile part.
She was later replaced in the title role by Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis.
Video: First Look -- Meet the New 'Annie!'
"To be honest, something inside me was just, like, 'Don't,'" she tells the magazine bluntly. "I'm very connected with my intuition."
In February 2013, Smith said that Willow dropped out so she could "just be 12" again.
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
new to stream
Carrie: a story four decades old about religious misogyny and basic feminism and the perniciousness of bullying still feels fresh and relevant [my review] [at Netflix] Le Week-end: a marvelous little unpacking of the meaning of happiness, precisely what constitutes it, and how to know whether you’ve found it [my review] [at Netflix]
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
Mistaken for Strangers: perhaps the least bullshitting, most unostentatious rock doc ever, often as hilarious as This Is Spinal Tap, though with a different aim in mind in the end [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Beyond the Edge: through gorgeous archival footage and new re-creations, thrillingly places us amidst the first successful summit of Everest in 1953 [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video] The Grand Budapest Hotel: the most Wes Anderson-y film ever, a delightful concoction that’s like »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Film scores aren't just for playing in the background any more. Ivan looks at how they're taking centre stage...
Film soundtracks have always been a strange medium. The music relies on movies for their full meaning. They're so integral to a film and its mood that to listen to them away from the big screen can seem strange to many. Others, meanwhile, take the chance outside of the cinema to pore over them in detail, or use them for background music while running or working (How to Train Your Dragon's on now, if you're wondering). It's only in recent years that another way of listening to them has become popular again: with your eyes.
Do a quick Google for "film with live score" and you'll discover a whole heap of events currently happening around the UK in which orchestras accompany a screening. Why the sudden trend? Is it »
Jennine Lanouette for ScreenTakes created and narrates this excellent video "refuting the notion that a character must be likable to be sympathetic". Her examples draw comparisons between characters such as Paul Newman's title character in Harper, Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Melanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds, a load of characters from Margin Call, James Bond in From Russia with Love, Woody Harrelson in The People vs. Larry Flynt, Charlize Theron in Monster and, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street where she says, "We're notified in the opening scene we're not supposed to like Jordan Belfort." Hmmmm, and yet the argument against this film was that it glorified all that Belfort didc Interesting. Give the video a watch (though, be warned, it's Nsfw), it's a fantastic look at creating sympathetic characters out of unlikable people and just might have you »
- Brad Brevet
Jim Gianopulos is riding a big wave of success.
The chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox — who oversees the motion picture divisions of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., which include Fox 2000, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Animation Studios, Blue Sky Studios and Fox Intl. Prods. — has presided over the release of such hits as “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (which recently opened as the top grossing film in the world), “Life of Pi,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Taken” and its two sequels, “12 Years a Slave” and — of course — record-breakers “Titanic” and “Avatar.”
Gianopulos will receive the Taormina Film Festival’s Arte Award »
- Peter Caranicas
Annie Trailer. Will Gluck‘s Annie (2014) movie trailer 2 stars Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Annie‘s plot synopsis: “Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make [...]
- Rollo Tomasi
Sony has released a new trailer for director Will Gluck’s (Easy A) remake of the classic 1982 music Annie, which sees Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) taking on the lead role alongside Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) Cameron Diaz (The Counselor), Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class), Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark World); watch it below…
Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, »
- Gary Collinson
There are two types of people: those who grew up loving the musical Annie, and those who would prefer to go into the woods with Jason Voorhees rather than listen to one single syllable of her signature tune “Tomorrow.” I am of the second type. So when the powers that be (that’s Will Smith and Jay Z) opted to launch a re-imagining of the musical as a more modern-day fairytale starring Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Jamie Foxx in the lead roles, I was not exactly bowled over with excitement.
I wish I could say that the most recent trailer for Annie has melted my ice-cold heart, but really it has just seriously damaged my eardrums. As a rather high-pitched hip-hop rendition of “It’s a Hard Knock Life” plays in the background, we are introduced to orphan Annie and her politically-minded benefactor Benjamin Stacks (Foxx). After saving Annie’s life, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
In theaters December 19th, here’s the brand new trailer for Annie.
Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz).
But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) – makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean »
- Michelle McCue
This December, fans of movie musicals will be getting two films that can help fulfill their need for song and dance numbers on the big screen: Disney’s Into the Woods, based on the famous dark fairy tale mashup Broadway musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, and Annie, the new cinematic rendition of the comic strip-turned hit stage musical/film, starring Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx (Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
A newly-released full-length trailer for Annie (see above) is more plot-oriented than its teaser trailer predecessor. This preview focuses on the relationship that forms between the wealthy New York City mayoral candidate Benjamin Stacks (Foxxx) – the renamed version of the Daddy Warbucks character – and plucky orphan Annie (Wallis), when a fortuitous turn of events convinces Stacks make the young girl part of his political bid. Batman references, Cameron Diaz ...
Click to continue reading ‘Annie »
- Sandy Schaefer
Sony has premiered a new trailer for their upcoming remake of Annie starring Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role alongside Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx and Rose Byrne. The only reason I feel any remote need to see this one is because Will Gluck (Easy A) is directing, but even then, what is an Annie remake going to bring to the table that I really need to see. After enduring Maleficent last night it's becoming increasingly clear there are some movies I just shouldn't even bother seeing. Annie hits theaters on December 19. sb id="937601" height="360" width="640" Annie, a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean »
- Brad Brevet
Focusing on an orphan adopted by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks (renamed Benjamin Stacks and a New York mayoral candidate in this updated version of the classical musical), it’s a heartwarming tale and boasts an impressive cast of actors which also includes Rose Byrne and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.
This latest trailer features “A Hard Knock Life” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”, along with a few modern day changes to some now very dated lines!
We also get to see a lot more of some of the cast members who weren’t featured that heavily in the original trailer, and while many continue to doubt the necessity of this remake, it does actually look a lot better than expected! »
- Josh Wilding
Sony Pictures has released new Annie trailer. The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move. I want to be excited for this movie, it's got a good cast, and I enjoyed director Will Gluck's Easy A, but the trailers are falling flat for me. The jokes aren't landing, and it seems like it's trying too hard to update the classic musical. But with its holiday release date, I'm holding on to the hope that it will be a crowd-pleaser. Hit the jump to check out the new Annie trailer. The film also stars Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas. Annie opens on December 19th. Via Yahoo! »
- Matt Goldberg
Why remake childhood favorite "Annie"? Well, because they can and that's just what Sony has done, entrusting the job to "Easy A" director Will Gluck, screenwriters Aline Brosh McKenna and Emma Thompson, and producers Will Smith and Jay Z. So yes, they brought the talent and the result is...this? A new trailer for the musical revamp is here and it still looks pretty tone deaf. "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" star Quvenzhané Wallis takes the title role, with Jamie Foxx as her wealthy benefactor with political dreams to keep alive. Meanwhile, vamping all over the place is Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan, with a performance pitched, for better or worse, all the way to the back row. Certainly, this isn't for us, but maybe the kids will dig it? "Annie" arrives on December 19th. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This Christmas will see a giant musical showdown in the form of Sony's "Annie" facing off against Disney's "Into the Woods," two lavish Broadway adaptations with major star power and a contemporary slant. (We imagine it will be like something from "West Side Story," except even less threatening.) While we haven't seen anything from "Into the Woods," save for a photo of Meryl Streep looking really witchy, "Annie" has already unleashed two trailers, the latest of which (below, courtesy of Yahoo), shows much more of the starry cast and the movie's updated storyline.
While the original "Annie" was set during the Great Depression, this version is completely modernized. Jamie Foxx plays the Daddy Warbucks stand-in, a mayoral candidate who looks to soften his image by aligning himself with the cuddly, titular orphan (Quvenzhane Wallis from "Beasts of the Southern Wild"). Cameron Diaz plays the new Miss Hannigan (and gets one »
- Drew Taylor
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