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Youngest Oscar nominee Wallis to play Annie


Quvenzhane Wallis, fresh from the Oscars spotlight as the youngest ever best actress nominee, is to play "Annie" in a Tinseltown remake of the hit Broadway musical, filmmakers said.

The nine-year-old, who drew praise for her amazingly mature performance in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," will play the title role in "Annie," also a remake of the Oscar-nominated 1982 movie.

"With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, (Wallis) is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star," said Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures production head.

"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 new "Annie" -- produced by Overbrook Entertainment, Marcy Media and Sony Pictures -- will be released around December 2014, directed by Will Gluck and with producers including James Lassiter, Will Smith and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.

Gluck is currently revising the film's screenplay, written by British actress Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the stage musical.

Wallis -- whose favorite pastimes include singing and dancing, basketball, volleyball and cheerleading, according to the filmmakers -- has already worked on an upcoming film, "Twelve Years a Slave" with Brad Pitt.

She also has made "Boneshaker," a short about an African family lost in America.

"Silver Linings Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress Oscar on Sunday, beating shortlisted rivals including Wallis and, coincidentally, the oldest ever nominee in the category, 86-year-old French star Emmanuelle Riva.