Lovable orphan Annie gets a 21st-century update in the Jay-Z and Will Smith-produced remake, which hit theaters December 19, 2014. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Annie comic strip that has inspired multiple theatre and film adaptations, and this reincarnation of Annie is undoubtedly modern. Removed from its original Depression-era setting, Ms. Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) no longer runs an orphanage–instead, she adopts foster children to receive money from the government. Daddy Warbucks has been replaced by Will Stacks (Jaime Foxx), a cell phone mogul running for Mayor of New York City. Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) and Stacks’ relationship is initially a political stunt devised to boost his poll ratings. Annie gets so much online buzz that Katy Perry tweets about her!
Annie hails from Harlem–crews filmed on W 127th and St. Nicholas Terrace for multiple days, suggesting that Ms. Hannigan’s foster home is on this block. Lots of onlookers snapped photos of Diaz singing and dancing on a firescape. Wallis was filmed stealing a CitiBike from a tourist in the East Village (E11th and Ave A), and rode the bike around Harlem too. Crews were spotted at Broadway and 176th and John Jay College (10th Ave and 59th St) as well. Interior scenes were shot at Grumman Studios in Bethpage, Long Island, most recently used for NBC’s Peter Pan Live. And in a sneak peak clip, Wallis performs the new song “Opportunity” at a political fundraiser held at the Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Avenue).
Quvenzhané Wallis has already received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Annie. With a star-studded cast rounded out by Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale, and revamped songs from Sia and Beck, Annie is sure to be a hit this holiday season.