Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Jay-Z and Will Smith hope the sun comes out tomorrow

At Monday's Art Museum announcement for the Labor Day weekend "Made in America" concert, rapper Jay-Z makes passing reference to Will Smith and one of the projects they're cooking up together: a remake of "Annie."

Jay-Z and Will Smith hope the sun comes out tomorrow

Jay-Z thinks he's gonna like it here. And he thinks the sun will come out tomorrow. Even if he thinks it's a hard knock life.

At the Jay-Z/Michael Nutter press conference Monday announcing plans for a two-day Labor Day weekend mega concert, “Made in America,” somebody asked the New York-based Jay-Z Why Philly? And Jay-Z replied (to paraphrase), because he’s good pals with Philadelphia’s own Will Smith, and that the two of them – along with James Lassiter, Smith’s producing partner at Overbrook Entertainment -- have been working on a bunch of projects together.

One of those projects is Annie, a planned remake of the Broadway smash (and 1982, John Huston-directed screen version), with Willow Smith to star as the upstart orphan. Jay-Z has already shown his affinity for the Martin Charnin/Charles Strouse musical, having sampled “It’s a Hard Knock Life” in his hit “Hard Knock Live (Ghetto Anthem).”

Jay-Z ‘s record label, Roc Nation, also released Willow’s smasheroo “Whip My Hair.”

And Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay-Z, Smith and Lassiter are partners in a number of other film, stage and commercial prospects, too.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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