Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment, Jay-Z Team Up to Remake Annie
Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith are partnering with Jay-Z to release movies.
One of the first projects they're discussing is a remake of the Broadway classic Annie, in which the Smiths' daughter, Willow, 10, would star. Jay-Z sampled the tune "It's a Hard Knock Life" in his hit "Hard Knock Live (Ghetto Anthem)."
The film will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter).
Jada, Will, Lassiter and Jay-Z decided to form the partnership over a recent dinner. They also co-invested in beauty products line Carol's Daughter, and co-produced the Broadway production of Fela!, which earned 11 Tony Award nominations in 2010.
Willow Smith, managed by OE exec Miguel Melendez, signed onto Jay-Z's record label, Roc Nation, which produced her first single titled “Whip My Hair,” which has been certified Platinum.
“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,” said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad in a statement. “Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular JAY-Z makes this a dream project. A decade ago, JAY-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation with Hard-Knock Life."
“We are excited to partner together to develop and produce a wide variety of films with our longtime friend JAY-Z, with whom we share a common global vision, both commercially and philosophically, and look forward to collaborating once again with the incredibly talented executives at Sony,” said Overbrook co-founder James Lassiter.
Said Jay-Z in a statement, "The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision. 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 has generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue by producing some of Smith's films like Ali, Hitch, Pursuit of Happyness, I Am Legend and The Karate Kid.