Will Gluck , writer-director of Easy A and Friends with Benefits, is in negotiations to helm Sony’s film adaptation of 1977 Broadway musical Annie, EW has confirmed. The project will be Gluck’s fourth movie for the studio. He is also expected to revise the screenplay for the new film version of Annie, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada).
“At the helm of Annie, [Gluck] will bring to this film all the charm of the original Broadway production while also appealing to a new generation,” Doug Belgrad, president of Sony’s Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of production for the studio, said in a release.
The film will be set in modern day and will also feature a full dose of modern music influences, with Jay-Z working on the soundtrack. The rapper previously previously played with the music of Annie when he sampled “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” in 1998 track “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).” Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are producing through their Overbrook Entertainment banner. Their daughter Willow Smith was previously set to play the title role, but Sony announced Wednesday that the “Whip My Hair” songstress is no longer attached to the project since she’s outgrown the role — now 12, she was nine when development on the film began.
Annie was first brought to the silver screen in classic 1982 film, and also to the small screen in 1999 in a TV movie starring Kathy Bates and Victor Garber.
Gluck is also currently working on NBC’s untitled Michael J. Fox series, based on the actor’s own life, expected to premiere this fall.
Sony is aiming to release Annie sometime in 2014.