Following news of their talks over remaking Broadway classic Annie with Willow Smith to star, it has been announced today that Jay-Z and Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have joined forces in a film partnership to develop and produce major motion pictures.
Will Smith and Jay-Z have already teamed up in visual entertainment for the successful Fela! play, which has recently finished sold out runs on New York’s Broadway and London’s West End and focuses on the life of Nigerian musician and activist, Fela Kuti.
Jay-Z said on the venture, “The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision. We’ve already produced a Tony Award winning play and we’re developing a true superstar in Willow. This venture into film development and production is a perfect next step with teams that are accomplished, creative, and innovative.”
The Annie re-imagining will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Mr. Carter. “The time is right to bring back Annie to the big screen. Of course, we’re true believers in Willow’s talent and believe she will be perfect in this role,” said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad.
“Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular Jay-Z makes this a dream project. A decade ago, 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 couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with our friends at Overbrook as they launch this new venture.”
Overbrook Entertainment has been operating since 1998 and produced many of Smith’s latest blockbusters including Ali, Hitch, Pursuit Of Happyness, Hancock, I Am Legend,, Secret Lives Of Bees and I Am Legend.