At the age of 9, Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest actress ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, and now comes news that she may star in an upcoming film adaptation of the classic musical Annie.
Wallis became an overnight sensation and an Academy Award nominated for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. She will find out if she wins the Oscar at the ceremony on February 24.
The new film version of Annie is produced by Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment and Jay-Z’s Marcy Media, and was originally developed as a starring vehicle for Smith’s daughter Willow. Unfortunately Willow dropped out of the project last month, leaving the door open for Wallis to be on the short list. However, a studio rep tells Entertainment Weekly that no official casting decisions have yet been made. Will Gluck, known for Easy A and Friends with Benefits, was recently named director of Annie.
“Willow was supposed to be doing Annie,” Will Smith said in an interview at Temple University. “We got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with ‘Whip My Hair’ and she said, ‘You know Daddy, I don’t think so.’”
In all, Beasts of the Southern Wild is nominated for four honors at this year’s 85th Academy Awards, the other three being Best Director for Benh Zeitlin, Best Adapted Screenplay for Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin and Best Picture.
Wallis plays Hushpuppy in the movie, and the film represents her first acting job. She first auditioned for the role at the age of five, and she is the third youngest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar in any category. It is reported that she will also star in an upcoming film titled 12 Years a Slave, which also stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Cumberbatch.