Posted by | Ray Cornelius is reporting that Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s 12-year-old daughter Willow Smith is no longer a leading contender for the remake of Annie. As previously reported, Willow was to play the famous red-haired orphan in a new hip hop version of the classic musical with new songs written by Jay-Z.  

Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment company released a statement siting “production delays and Willow’s age” as the reason for her being removed from the project. “Willow was nine years old when we started developing this project, and has since grown out of the role,” the statement reads.

Although the “Whip My Hair” singer is no longer apart of the project, producers are vowing not to shelve it. In fact, it is rumored that  9-year old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis and Hunger Games’  Amandla Stenberg are being considered for the coveted role.

Quvenzhané Wallis and Amandla Stenberg

Jay-Z, who is also a producing partner of the film, said in a statement: “For [my company] Marcy Media’s first foray into film, we couldn’t ask for better partners and mentors than Overbrook Entertainment. We are excited to work with [director] Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment. My well-known affinity for the classic “Hard Knock Life” makes Annie a natural vehicle to lead us into the world of the cinema.”

RC will keep you posted as this story continues to develop.