Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Will Smith and Jay Z invite you to believe in hope with a trailer for Annie

Columbia has dropped a new trailer for Annie, the upcoming Will Smith and Jay Z-produced adaptation of the 1977 musical. This version moves the story from Depression-era New York City to modern-day recession-era New York City, and changes the names of certain characters—Annie’s wealthy benefactor Daddy Warbucks has been rechristened Benjamin Stacks—to make the tale of a plucky orphan who achieves her dreams through song a good attitude more palatable for today’s jaded, cynical audiences. Quvenzhané Wallis, who plays Annie, remains adorable.


The movie will feature songs from the original musical as filtered through the mind of Mr. Z. The previous trailer treated us to a sample of Wallis singing “Tomorrow,” while this one is scored with a brassy version of “It’s A Hard Knock Life,” although there is markedly less rhythmic potato-peeling and washrag twirling choreography than in the 1982 movie version. You can also hear a lyrically altered snippet of “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile” around the halfway point. It can be assumed that Depression-centric songs like “We’d Like To Thank You, Herbert Hoover” and “A New Deal For Christmas” will be cut, but those holding out for an appearance by a rapping President Roosevelt are welcome to keep hope alive.

Annie will make its way into theaters, and possibly into the hearts of the masses, on December 14.