Atoning for the [Cinematic] Sins of the Father

That rumbling you heard yesterday was the muted "harrumph"-ing of thousands of American film journalists after news of the Will Smith/Jay-Z Annie reboot was confirmed:

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 greater 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 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 Sixteen 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.

Pearl Harbor 2: The Empire (of Japan) Strikes Back starring Violet Affleck: The war is over, and the troops have returned from Europe and the Pacific to resume their lives. Little do they know the Japanese have another invasion already planned. The enterprising enemy used all that time in internment camps to their advantage, digging a tunnel under the Pacific to link up with soldiers tunneling from Japan (give me a break, it's a Michael Bay movie). The only person standing in their way? A little California girl (Affleck) who's already dug her own hole to China, allowing the armies of Chiang Kai-shek to join forces with the Americans just in the nick of time.

Pretty dumb, huh? Couldn't be worse than this.

How to Lose a Guy In Nine Days starring Levi McConaughey -- This actually works out well, assuming McConaughey has seven more children. Nine kids = nine sequels.

Desperately Seeking Contrition starring Lourdes Leon -- Man, it was hard to settle on one Madonna movie. As a solution of sorts, I decided the movie would be nothing more than her daughter reading a prepared statement from Madge, apologizing for over 20 years of cinema atrocities. With "Crazy for You" playing softly in the background the whole time, of course.

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