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Willow Smith to star in remake of "Annie"

1/25/2011, 5 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Willow Smith, the daughter of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, will follow in her brother's footsteps and star in a famous movie remake, taking on the lead role in a re-imagining of the classic musical "Annie,'' Columbia Pictures announced today.

The film is expected to be produced by Overbrook Entertainment--the same production house behind "The Karate Kid'' starring Jaden Smith--in partnership with musician Shawn "Jay-Z'' Carter.

Jada Pinkett and Will Smith are partners in Overbrook Entertainment, along with James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz.

Willow Smith skyrocketed to fame in the past year with the platinum single "Whip My Hair.''

"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,'' Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad said. "Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that re-imagined 'Karate Kid' and the spectacular Jay-Z makes this a dream project.''

A remake of "Annie'' is envisioned as one in a series of film projects from the pairing of Overbrook and Jay-Z.

"The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision,'' Jay-Z said. "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.''

Overbrook Entertainment also produced Will Smith hits such as "Ali,'' "Hitch,'' "The Pursuit of Happyness'' and "Hancock.''