You didn’t think you had heard the last of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” star Quvenzhané Wallis, I hope. The youngest Best Actress nominee of all time was shrewdly announced on Oscar Sunday as the lead in the Will Smith-produced, Will Gluck-directed adaptation of the musical “Annie,” and today a release date has been announced: Christmas 2014.
Of course, as Greg Ellwood outlined in his list of eight lessons learned from the 2012-2013 film awards season, a December release can be a tricky play when it comes to landing a Best Picture Oscar, but that’s obviously not at the forefront of consideration when you’re putting on a show like this. The holiday corridor will be fertile ground for box office potential, just as it was recently with Universal’s “Les Misérables.”
Is it too early to start talking about an Oscar race two years in advance? Yeah, probably. But clearly this will be some part of it, whether “Annie” ends up going the way of “The Producers” or “Chicago.” It will be interesting to see how much Wallis grows in that period of time, and indeed, it will be a joy to see her grow up in the spotlight. She shows no signs of slowing down.
Meanwhile, “Annie” is currently playing on Broadway at New York’s Palace Theatre with Lilla Crawford in the title role.