Nine-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild breakout Quvenzhane Wallis has officially signed on to star in Sony Pictures big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Annie.
This new take on the classic tale was conceived by Will Smith‘s Overbrook Entertainment production company and rapper Jay-Z‘s Marcy Media as a starring vehicle for Smith’s daughter, Willow.
After the 12-year-old aged out of the role, Wallis, who was previously in talks to star in the film, stepped in to take her place.
Will Gluck (Easy A) will direct the film, slated to release during the holiday season of 2014.
“With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhane Wallis is a true and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star,” said Sony production president Hannah Minghella. “She’s 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.”
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Rock act Imagine Dragons will headline the Hollywood Palladium and Red Rocks on a 13-day tour this summer.
The group’s album “Night Visions” marked them as a breakthrough act, which reached No. 2 in the Billboard 200. In its 25th week on the chart, single “Radioactive” currently sits atop Alternative Songs.
See Imagine Dragons’ summer dates below:
May 7: Charlotte, NC (Time Warner Cable Arena)
May 8: Raleigh, NC (Red Hat Amphitheater)
May 10: Boca Raton, FL (Sunset Cove Amphitheater)
May 11: St. Augustine, FL (St. Augustine Amphitheater)
May 16: Denver, CO (Red Rocks Amphitheater)
May 20: Orem, UT (Utah Community Credit Union Events Center)
May 21: Boise, ID (Idaho Botanical Garden)
May 23: Edmonton, AB (Shaw Conference Centre)
May 24: Calgary, AB (BMO Centre)
May 29: Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood Palladium)
May 31: San Francisco, CA (America’s Cup Amphitheater)
June 1: San Diego, CA (Open Air Theatre – San Diego State University)
June 3: Phoenix, AZ (Comerica Theatre)
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Even against the Grammys, The Walking Dead’s midseason return of the AMC zombie drama delivered 12.3 million viewers and a 6.1 adults 18-49 rating, the biggest the show has seen.
If the encore telecast is included, the viewership would reach 16.6 million. Some television shows, including dramas, usually struggle to meet even a 3.0 rating.
“When you look at numbers like this, the first thing that comes to mind is how grateful we are to the fans of the show,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “They embrace The Walking Dead in a way that we wanted to believe was possible but we never take for granted. The cast and crew put everything they have into making this show. They’re a phenomenally talented group who truly give their all. We congratulate everyone involved.”
The Walking Dead’s average for its third and current season in the demo is higher than top broadcast shows like Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and NCIS.
Click here to read Entertainment Weekly’s interview with showrunner Glen Mazzara about the episode.
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