Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz film Annie in New York

This week the Big Apple saw Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Quvenzhané Wallis shoot the remake of the 'It's a hard knock life' musical

Stars have gathered in New York to shoot the remake of 80s movie musical Annie. The film will be set in present-day and uses the streets of New York as a backdrop for the action.


The original John Huston-directed film was shot in limited locations, including Monmouth University, New Jersey, and Newark. The big budget remake, however, will go all out and film throughout the city – including scenes in Manhattan and and Brooklyn.

Cameron Diaz (There’s Something About Mary) will star as Miss Hannigan and Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) will play Benjamin Stacks (aka. Daddy Warbucks), while Quvenzhané Wallis – nominated for an Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild – will star as Annie herself. Initially, the role was set out for Willow Smith, Will and Jada Smith’s daughter, however, it was decided that Willow, 12, was too old to play the 11 year old character.

“With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star,” said Hannah Minghella of Columbia Pictures.

With Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith as part of a group of producers, the film is set to have a modern take on the classic. The film will be directed by Will Gluck (Friends with Benefits, Easy A) and will work off a script revised by Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna.

Thompson told BBC News “I have been writing the script for nearly three years; it’s exciting… Jay-Z has already started working on the music”. Well, now we know what Jay-Z’s 1998 ‘Hard Knock Life’ single was all about.

Annie will be released Christmas day of 2014.


Visit New York with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details