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'Beasts of the Southern Wild' star Quvenzhane Wallis to play 'Annie'


Quvenzhane Credit: Quvenzhane Wallis (Getty Images)

Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, the 9-year-old star of the critically acclaimed "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and the youngest person ever nominated for a "Best Actress" Oscar, has been cast in the title role of Annie in a new film production of the classic story of an orphan child.

"With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true 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," said Hannah Minghella, president of production at Columbia Pictures.

The new "Annie" will be directed by Will Gluck ("Friends With Benefits") and is being produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Jay-Z, among others.
It will be released during the 2014 holiday movie season.

The news was announced Sunday just hours before the Academy Awards ceremony.

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