Pop Rocks

Nepotism, Hollywood Style

If your world hadn't been shattered enough by the fact that Jackass 3-D didn't receive one single Academy Award nomination, now it seems Will Smith/Jay-Z are remaking Annie:

Overbrook Entertainment has formally announced a partnership with Jay-Z for future film projects, starting with a big screen remake of American musical classic "Annie."

Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith, along with Overbrook partners James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz, plan to "develop and prduce" multiple major motion pictures with the Roc Nation founder and rapper. The Smiths' daughter Willow, who released the single "Whip My Hair" late last year, is signed to Roc Nation and will be cast in the title role of "Annie."

"The time is right to bring back ANNIE to the big screen. Of course, we're true believers in Willow's talent and believe she will be perfect in this role," said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad in a statement.

The Smiths' other child, Jaden, had a major moment in the limelight last summer, in another redux "The Karate Kid," also backed by Overbrook.

Count me in the minority, because I think using your Hollywood clout to put your kids in remakes is a great idea. Provided, that is, that going forward you adhere to this one simple rule: they can only star in remakes of or sequels to your movies.

Obviously most of the celebrity baby boom is still too young for grown-up roles, but given our collective shrinking attention span when it comes to this sort of thing, that just means the audience will be more than ready when the time comes for:

Days of Thunder 2025 starring Suri Cruise -- The littlest OT VIII is only four years old now, so who can say what advances to stock car racing technology will be around when she's 18 (hell, they might be driving around in endless loops to the right)? As for the plot: NASCAR faces a threat even greather than that time it looked like a white guy wasn't going to win the Sprint Cup...the return of Cole Trickle who, finally driven mad after decades of fellow drivers making fun of his name, threatens to destroy the organization. It's up to a plucky new driver with raven hair and an "extreme" attitude to foil his dastardly plans.

Legends of the Fall: Tristan and the City starring Shiloh Jolie-Pitt -- Don't listen to that Indian, that bear didn't really kill Tristan Ludlow. He's lurked in the Montana woods for years, unknown and unseen until the arrival of an eight-year-old girl...and her talking dog! Hang on to your "Buttes" as the they introduce the shaggy mountain man to modern life. Stay after the credits to see him attack the Google Maps car with a hunting knife!

The Sweet Escape and Suxteen Stone presented by Kingston Rossdale -- Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale haven't really appeared in enough movies to warrant the full-on remake, so as a compromise I'd have their son buy up all existing copies of Stefani's second solo album and the first Bush disc and drop them in an active volcano. Make it a Pay-Per-View thing.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar