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Reinventing ANNIE the Will Smith way

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As most of you die hard Annie fans know by now, Will Smith is remaking the Broadway Classic, Annie. Mr. Smith will produce this film while his 9 year old daughter, Willow, will be the main character Annie.

The original Annie character was a white female known best for her red hair and freckles. Will Smith’s Annie would be black. This is a very controversial decision. Some fans of the Comics, Broadway Musical, and Movies do not want such an extreme makeover of Annie. Some fans of Will Smith encourage change and want a modern version of Annie to share with this generation. How do we bridge the gap between the two sides?

We need to answer some basic questions. What do we know about Willow Smith? She is the daughter of two super famous movie stars, Will Smith and Jada Pinket-Smith. Her brother Jaden stared in The Pursuit of Happyness and the remake of The Karate Kid. Willow just stared in the YouTube musical hit ‘Whip My Hair’. What do we know about Will Smith’s ability to produce movies? He has produced 17 titles like The Karate Kid, Seven Pounds, Lakeview Terrace, The Secret Life of Bees, Hancock, The Pursuit of Happyness, Hitch, and I, Robot to name a few.

So, basically, Willow is from an affluent and very talented family. She has been groomed from a very young age to go down the path of stardom. Her family has more connections than AT&T. Not only does she have the financial means to become a star but, she has the raw talent. How bright will this star shine? Only time will tell.

Does this make her right for the part? I don’t know. I think Will Smith will give us an amazing product. He did great things with The Karate Kid. It was well balanced and I was able to draw parallels to the original film. I think he carefully and thoughtfully picks movies to work on. If he felt that this movie would put a negative spotlight on his daughter’s career, I don’t think he would cast her in the role.

My concern is Willow’s voice. I listened to her ‘Whip My Hair’ song over and over again. Her voice was altered with auto-tone sounds and most of the song was sung with the spoken word. I would like to hear more of her natural voice with longer, more drawn out phrases to make a more informed decision.

That being said, keep in mind, the decision to remake a classic movie is always controversial. People don’t like change. For some, it’s difficult to think outside the box…especially if you change the color of the box.
Source: Deadline
Written by Rita Foster
Date:  February 5, 2011
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Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Lover of movies and The Big Lebowski.