The youngest Best Actress Oscars nominee Quvenzhane Wallis has replaced Willow Smith as the star of the upcoming musical movie remake of Annie.
The nine-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild star has officially signed on to play the orphan in a big screen revival of the Broadway show.
Wallis was rumored to be the lead contender after Smith's 12-year-old daughter quit the project last month (Jan13), and on Sunday (24Feb13), just hours before the big awards show, Columbia Pictures bosses confirmed the news.
Production chief Hannah Minghella says, "With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhane Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star. She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can't wait for audiences to further discover her."
The film will be directed by Will Gluck, with Smith, his actress wife Jada Pinkett, and rapper Jay-Z tapped as producers. It is slated for a 2014 release.