When you score an Oscar nomination at the age of 9, as Quvenzhané Wallis did for the fantastical Beasts of the Southern Wild, people tend to notice. And with the title role in Screen Gems’ flashy Annie redo this December, the young actress doesn’t look to be stepping away from the spotlight anytime soon. Recently, Wallis signed on to star in Counting By 7s, to be adapted from the bestseller of the same name.
Holly Goldberg Sloan’s acclaimed novel centers on an academically gifted young girl named Willow Chance, who is challenged when both of her parents are unexpectedly killed in an auto accident. After being taken in by an unlikely foster family and an unfit guidance counselor, Willow rises above her grief and fear to build a community that nurtures her even as she works to brighten it.
Said Wallis in an official statement:
“I am honored to play the role of Willow in Counting by 7s. I love the message behind the story. I am excited to be a part of it and to see it come to life.”
The role is one of several in the pipeline for the young actress. After Annie, she’ll lend her voice to an animated adapation of Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet then appear opposite Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried in the ambitious, time-traversing drama Fathers and Daughters.
The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Olympus Pictures optioned the rights for Counting By 7s, and the studios will build the project around Wallis. No screenwriter or director have yet been announced, thoguh Sloan herself has experience with scripting and may be called upon to work on the adaptation. She is already involved as a producer.
Check out the official Amazon description for Counting By 7s below, and let us know whether you’re keen to see Wallis in this part.
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.