After originally turning down the offer, Sandra Bullock is once again in early talks to appear in the remake of the beloved musical Annie. Bullock was approached to play Miss Hannigan, the drunken manager of the orphanage. In the ’82 original the role was filled by Carol Burnett.
Sony and Overbrooks Entertainment are working with producers Will Smith and Shawn Carter (better known as Jay-Z) for the Will Gluck-directed remake. In the titular role is Quvenzhane Wallis, the spunky tyke everyone adored as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Will Smith’s daughter Willow was originally slated for the part but was replaced by Wallis.
As an alternative to the Daddy Warbucks character Jamie Foxx will be playing Benjamin Stacks, a candidate for New York City mayor. Sony was searching for a globally known actress with comedic capability for Miss Hannigan and Bullock has been proving herself lately as a competent comic actress in films such as The Proposal and the upcoming buddy cop comedy The Heat with Melissa McCarthy. Personally, I think she’ll be a great fit.
Director Will Gluck, who previously directed Friends with Benefits, is utilizing a screenplay penned by Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna. Brosh McKenna is known for adapting The Devil Wears Prada, while Thompson has credits for the script of Nanny McPhee and its sequel Nanny McPhee Returns. The script, which has been revised numerous times, aims to appeal to an African American audience.
The addition of Bullock seems like a clever move to prevent this concept from backfiring and alienating other audiences. Bullock’s The Blind Side proved to be a hit with varied audiences in 2009, so her popular charm may be enough to make this updated version of Annie a holiday success.
As of now neither Sony nor representatives for Bullock have commented. Production on Annie is expected to begin this Fall, with a release date scheduled for Christmas Day 2014.