Overbrook Entertainment partners (James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith) and Jay-Z have formed a joint venture to develop and produce major motion pictures. The first film on tap is the Annie musical remake starring Willow Smith, who was recently signed to Jay-Z’s record label, Roc Nation, who produced her platinum hit “Whip My Hair.”
“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. “Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular Jay-Z makes this a dream project. A decade ago, Jay-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation with ‘Hard-Knock Life‘. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with our friends at Overbrook as they launch this new venture.”
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This new venture isn’t the first time Will and Jay-Z have partnered. The duo are already co-investors in the popular beauty and skin care line Carol’s Daughter. Also, they act as co-producers on the 3-time Tony award-winning Broadway production, Fela!.
“We are excited to partner together to develop and produce a wide variety of films with our longtime friend Jay-Z, with whom we share a common global vision, both commercially and philosophically, and look forward to collaborating once again with the incredibly talented executives at Sony,” said Overbrook Co-Founder James Lassiter.
Jay-Z’s official statement was “…the Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision. We’ve already produced a Tony Award winning play and we’re developing a true superstar in Willow. This venture into film development and production is a perfect next step with teams that are accomplished, creative, and innovative.”
Congrats to both of these gentleman… and they said “hip hop” was a fad. 🙂