USMagazine, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 12:00pm (PST)
Whether or not Quvenzhane Wallis becomes the youngest-ever Oscar winner on Sunday night, the sun will definitely be coming out tomorrow for the nine-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild star. The Academy Award-nominated actress has been cast as the coveted title role in Annie, the much-anticipated new film adaptation of the musical.
"Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star," Hannah Minghella, president of Production for Columbia Pictures, said in a Sunday statement. Wallis will fill the shoes of 12-year-old Willow Smith, who recently opted out of the film; producers of the remake include Willow's mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jay-Z.
Continued Minghella of Wallis, who is up for a Best Actress against Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Emmanuelle Riva and Naomi Watts: "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 Louisiana-born little girl has more than just acting, singer and dancing chops to bring to the role of the Little Orphan Annie: She's also an animal lover, which will help in working with the canine cast as Annie's beloved pooch, Sandy. Wallis was just five years old when she was cast as Hushpuppy in her breakout role,