The young Oscar-nominated star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” has been cast in the lead role of a new version of “Annie.”
Sony Pictures announced Sunday that Quvenzhane Wallis will play Annie in a contemporized adaptation of the Broadway musical and the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip.
The 9-year-old Quvenzhane is one of the youngest Oscar-nominated actors ever. She’s also shot a small role in Steve McQueen’s upcoming film, “Twelve Years a Slave.”
“Annie” is planned for release during the 2014 holiday season. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z are among the producers. The Smiths’ daughter, Willow, had originally been slated to play Annie.
Ex-Spice Girl to be ‘Talent’ judge
NBC says former Spice Girl Melanie Brown is joining the judges’ panel of “America’s Got Talent.”
Brown, known as Scary Spice during her time with the 1990s pop group, will take her seat alongside Howie Mandel and Howard Stern when the variety competition show returns for its eighth season this summer on NBC.
Brown was previously a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2010, she starred with her family in a reality series for The Style Network.
She recently completed a two-season run as judge on the Australian edition of “The X Factor” and for one season was co-host of the Australian “Dancing With the Stars.”
MC Hammer not bitter about arrest
MC Hammer suggests he was a victim of racial profiling when he was stopped and arrested by police in the Northern California city of Dublin.
The ’90s rap star tweeted Saturday that an officer approached him in his car and asked “Are you on parole or probation?”
He says that as he handed over his ID, the officer reached inside the car and tried to pull him out.
Dublin police Lt. Herb Walters told the Oakland Tribune that Hammer, born Stanley Burrell, was arrested Thursday for investigation of obstructing an officer in the performance of their duties and resisting an officer.
Hammer tweeted that he wasn’t bitter and considered what happened “a teachable moment.”
The birthday bunch
Country singer Ralph Stanley is 86. CBS newsman Bob Schieffer is 76. Actress Karen Grassle (“Little House on the Prairie”) is 71. Actor Alexis Denisof (“Angel,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is 47. Actress Tea Leoni is 47. Comedian Carrot Top is 46. Actor Sean Astin is 42. Singer Justin Jeffre (98 Degrees) is 40. Comedian Chelsea Handler is 38. Actress Rashida Jones (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”) is 37. Actor Justin Berfield (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 27.