CULVER CITY, Calif., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Oscar-nominated, Louisiana-born actress Quvenzhane Wallis is to play the titular orphan in the movie musical "Annie," producers said.
The casting announcement was made Sunday by Overbrook Entertainment, Marcy Media, director Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
"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," Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures, said in a statement.
The movie is to be released during the winter holiday season in 2014. It is being produced by James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through Overbrook Entertainment, and by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Jay Brown and Tyran "Ty Ty" Smith through Marcy Media.
Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna penned the movie, which is inspired by the stage musical "Annie" and "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip.
Wallis, 9, is the youngest Best Actress nominee in history. She is being recognized for her work in "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
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