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, Stacks discovers that his political career has been seriously advanced by the presence of the plucky little girl, and so takes steps to make her a part of his campaign. Of course, we know that before long Stacks will learn about his true self from the orphan with a heart of gold.
While so far we’ve only had a few glimpses of the musical component of Annie, I have to say that this film is making me very nervous. The version of “It’s a Hard Knock Life” in the trailer is grating, and it hasn’t become clear that anyone in the cast (aside from Jamie Foxx) can handle the demands of a musical. Still, the script is from Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and Emma Thompson, so perhaps there’s more here than meets the eye…or ear.
Annie will have her day in the sun on December 19th. Until then, check out the trailer below.