Regardless of the outcome of tonight's Oscar ceremony, Quvenzhané Wallis is still walking out of the weekend as a winner. The Beast of the Southern Wild star just got cast as the new lil orphan Annie. Entertainment Weekly first reported Wallis was "in talks" to take on the role of the adorable red headed orphan who dreams about tomorrow. But "in talks" doesn't mean squat, unless you're actually cast, and today Columbia Pictures got out ahead of any Oscar news and announced the nine-year-old is their next big star. Buzzfeed's Adam Bvary points out the role was originally going to go to Willow Smith, daughter of producer Will Smith, but she dropped out.
But there's one huge, glaringly obvious question raised about Wallis' casting as Annie: we have no idea if this kid can sing? Annie is a musical! She's going to have to sing. Yes, she's a brilliantly qualified actress, who is currently in contention for a Best Actress Oscar with Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva and Sally Field, so her acting credentials can't be called into question. But we've never heard this kid wail. There is this video which reportedly features Wallis singing Taio Cruz song "Dynamite":
Her voice sounds pretty good, and the people she's singing with seem to be impressed by her skills. But "Dynamite" is a lot different than tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow being a day away. One song is simple and made for karaoke. The other is the most iconic song from a classic musical.
So, that's her next step. She proves to us that she can sing, like really belt, and no one will question the brilliance of this casting. We're sure the movie will be great, unless she ends up sounding like Russel Crowe in Les Mis, otherwise it will be terrible. No one should have had to hear him do that once. Luckily no one will ever have to hear him do that again. Oh, wait...