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Quvenzhane Wallis set to star in 'Counting By 7s'

EW has confirmed that Quvenzhané Wallis is attached to star in The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Olympus Pictures’ big-screen adaptation Holly Goldberg Sloan’s bestselling novel, Counting By 7s. Deadline first reported the news.

Wallis will play the novel’s central character, Willow Chance, a young girl who rebuilds her life with a surrogate family after her parents are killed in a car accident.

After her Oscar-nominated turn in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wallis has had a full schedule, having just wrapped production on Fathers and Daughters, a drama with Aaron Paul and Amanda Seyfried, and providing her voice in animated film The Prophet, based on the book by Kahlil Gibran. Wallis will soon be seen starring in Annie, which will be released Dec. 19.

New 'Annie' remake trailer: 'Whoa, my hair's gigantic!'

Yes, the first trailer for Will Gluck’s modern-day spin on the beloved 1977 musical Annie was… a little jarring. Daddy Warbucks had become a mogul and mayoral candidate played by Jamie Foxx; Miss Hannigan was a trashy blonde with Cameron Diaz’s face who yearned for the arms of George Clooney; the few bars of Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin’s iconic songs we heard bore the unmistakable stamp of Auto-Tune.

But this time around, you’ll know what to expect when you check out the movie’s second full-length trailer — which makes the clip’s pop culture references (there’s a running Batman joke) and Diaz’s mugging go down a little easier. Also: Somewhere along the way, Foxx’s character’s name was apparently changed from Benjamin to William Stacks. And he goes by “Will,” not “Bill.” (Wonder who realized that Benjamin Stacks was just a liiitle too on the nose?) There’s still stuff in here bound to bug purists — lyrics from “It’s The Hard Knock Life” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” have been altered slightly — but at least the story’s heart seems to be intact. Also: Turns out the movie’s version of Warbucks is bald after all! Will that satisfy you?!

Adjust your expectations — it’s safe to say “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover” won’t be making an appearance — and watch below:


Casting Net: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill set to re-team; Plus, Matthew McConaughey boards Gus Van Sant pic, more

Wolf of Wall Street co-stars and Oscar nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are reportedly set to re-team for an Atlanta Olympics bombing drama based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article “The Ballad of Richard Jewell.” Fox acquired the rights to the article and planned to develop it for Hill, who would play Jewell, the janitor who reported the suspicious bag and was subsequently accused of being a potential suspect in the bombing. DiCaprio would play the attorney at his side. [Deadline]


Quvenzhane Wallis' 'Annie' to be released Christmas 2014

The sun will come out on Christmas Day 2014.

The next big-screen adaptation of Annie, which was without a leading lady until just a few days ago, has an official release date. EW has confirmed that Quvenzhane Wallis’ Annie will meet her Daddy Warbucks and sing all about her hard knock life in theaters on Dec. 25, 2014. The film will be directed by Will Gluck and is being produced by Marcy Media along with Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment.

Read more:
The Onion draws ire for offensive Quvenzhane Wallis tweet — UPDATE
‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ breakout Quvenzhane Wallis to star in new big-screen ‘Annie’
‘Glee’ star Jane Lynch to make Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in ‘Annie’

Oscars luncheon on-the-scene: Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, and more

Before the 160 expected guests of honor could bite into their burrata arugula canapés and miso-marinated, pistachio-crusted sea bass fillets at the annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in the Beverly Hilton ballroom on Monday, a handful of nominated actors and filmmakers dropped by the press room to talk about their celebrated projects, awards season experiences, people they’d like to work with, and big night fashion plans. There were moments of gratitude, plenty of jokes and even, in the case of Amy Adams, accidental musical accompaniment and spontaneous dancing.

Read on to see the best of what was said behind the scenes:

Fox Searchlight re-releasing 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

In the wake of its four major Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, Fox Searchlight Pictures announced Wednesday that it intends to re-release the bayou fable Beasts of the Southern Wild in theaters on January 18.

That date marks the one-year anniversary of the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it picked up the Grand Jury Prize and Excellence in Cinematography Award. The stunning debut kicked off a banner year that included winning a Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. So far, Beasts has picked up over 120 awards from festivals and critics.


Critics' Choice Awards: 'Argo,' 'Silver Linings Playbook' big winners

At least the critics still love him! On the same day he was snubbed of an Oscar nomination, Ben Affleck took home the Best Director award at the Critics’ Choice Awards for Argo, which also won Best Picture.

The rest of the honorees — held by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the largest critics group in the country — were made up of newly-minted Oscar nominees like Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor for Lincoln), Jessica Chastain (Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty), Anne Hathaway (Best Supporting Actress for Les Misérables) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Supporting Actor for The Master).

The cast of Silver Linings Playbook won the Ensemble award, and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis received Best Young Actor/Actress.

Judd Apatow, the writer-producer-director of This is 40, won the somewhat tongue-in-cheek Louis XIII Genius Award for “an unprecedented demonstration of excellence in the cinematic arts.”

Movie fans, meanwhile, were invited to vote for their favorite film franchise for this year’s awards, and they chose Twilight over the likes of Batman, Harry PotterJames Bond, and Star Wars.

Check out the full list of winners below:  READ FULL STORY

Oscars and casting: Hollywood insiders discuss diversity

Diversity is an emotion-packed word more nuanced than one article or one year. But it should always be an ongoing topic of conversation in Hollywood until it stops being an issue, which it hasn’t.

EW recently talked to a range of insiders — from Beasts of the Southern Wild producer Michael Gottwald and Oscar winner Mo’Nique, who won the best supporting actress trophy in 2010 for urban drama Precious, to Precious casting director Billy Hopkins, and casting director Avy Kaufman, who headed casting for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln – about Oscars, diversity, and casting in Tinseltown.


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