x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Quvenzhané Wallis to play title role in Annie

Plus: One Direction score third No 1; Sandler and Barrymore may reunite; Jane Lynch to host game show; Pan-African Fespaco film festival opens.

The Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis. Frederic J. Brown / AFP
The Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis. Frederic J. Brown / AFP

The 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis will play the title role in Annie, Columbia Pictures has announced. Among the film's producers are Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z, whose 1998 album contains a hip-hop version of It's a Hard Knock Life, a song from the original Broadway musical. Wallis will be the first black actress to play Annie, who has traditionally been portrayed as a freckle-faced redhead. Later this year, she will star alongside Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen's drama Twelve Years a Slave. * Reuters

One Direction score third No 1 hit in the UK

One Direction raced to the top of the British charts this week with the fastest-selling single of 2013 so far, while Emeli Sandé reclaimed the top of the album chart, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday. One Direction went in at No 1 with One Way or Another, a cover of the Blondie classic. The single is the five-member group's third No 1 and sixth Top Ten single in less than 18 months. Elsewhere in the Top Ten, Justin Timberlake jumped 24 places to number four with Mirrors. In the album chart, the Scottish singer-songwriter Sandé retook the top spot with Our Version of Events. * Reuters

Sandler and Barrymore may reunite on screen

Adam Sandler has signed on to star in an as yet untitled romantic comedy for Warner Bros, which the studio says "explores the growing phenomenon of 'blended families'". Drew Barrymore is being eyed as the female lead. The film, co-produced by Sandler's Happy Madison, will begin shooting in May and a director search is under way, reported Variety. Sandler and Barrymore co-starred in the 2004 hit romcom 50 First Dates and 1998's The Wedding Singer. * IANS

Lynch to host game show

NBC is launching a celebrity game show with Jane Lynch as host. Titled Hollywood Game Night, it's produced by the former Will & Grace actor Sean Hayes, who said he's basing the show on his "own game nights". * AP

Pan-African Fespaco film festival opens

Africa's biggest film festival, Fespaco, opened its 23rd edition in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou on Sunday, with 101 films vying for the top Etalon d'Or prize. The biannual festival ends on March 2. All of the festival's juries will be headed this year by women, with the Etalon d'Or jury headed by the French cinema legend Euzhan Palcy. "Women have carried African cinema both behind and in front of the camera but Africa has not given them anything back," said the Fespaco organiser Michel Ouedraogo. This year's event focuses on African cinema and politics. The 2011 Etalon d'Or was won by the Moroccan director Mohamed Mouftakir for his film Pegasus. * AFP

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