It’s happening: As rumored last week, Will Smith is remaking Annie as a vehicle for his living graven image Willow, and he’s officially doing it with Jay-Z’s help. Jay-Z’s partnership with Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment—which has so far produced the Broadway musical Fela!, a line of beauty products, and that shrill voice shrieking, “I whip my hair back and forth!” still echoing across the Great Plains—now extends to a new joint venture that will launch film and television projects and which is not yet named Hovabrook Productions, even though it should be, because it's a cute little chuckle. Hee hee hee, ho ho ho.
Obviously the first project being considered is this Annie remake, about which Columbia Pictures’ Doug Belgrad said, “The time is right to bring back Annie to the big screen”—because of the recession maybe? We don't get it. Or maybe it’s not so much about bringing Annie back as it is doing whatever’s right for Willow Smith, about whom Belgrad said, “Of course, we’re true believers in Willow's talent and believe she will be perfect in this role.” And the streets will run red with the blood of the non-believers. Anyway, there’s still no official word yet on whether Jay-Z will help to rippity-rap-ify the musical’s original songs, but considering Belgrad also mentions that “Jay-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation with ‘Hard-Knock Life,’” we’d say that’s probably a given.