Film to be first of several from new venture
Jay-Z can add another hyphen to an already long string of them: film producer.The rap impresario has boarded a joint venture with Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures to develop feature pics, including a re-imagining of tuner “Annie.” Willow Smith, daughter of Will and budding pop artist responsible for “Whip My Hair,” will star as the titular orphan, (Daily Variety, Jan. 19). Reboot is to be produced by Carter and Overbrook and includes principals Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz. Already, the as-yet-unnamed group has invested in beauty products line Carol’s Daughter, and co-produced the Broadway show “Fela!” Jay-Z has a tangential tie to the Broadway classic: He sampled the song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” for his single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” in 1999. “A decade ago, Jay-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation,” said Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad.” We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with our friends at Overbrook as they launch this new venture.”
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