Academy Award nominee Quvenzhane Wallis has been signed to the title role in a Sony adaptation of Annie, the studio announced just before the Oscar telecast on Sunday.
Wallis was the youngest Best Actress nominee in the history of the Oscars, for her role as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
News of her signing was announced Sunday afternoon by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of production for the Culver City-based studio.
"With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhane Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star," Minghella said in a studio news release.
Annie will be released during the winter holiday season in 2014. The film is being directed by Will Gluck and produced by James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through Overbrook Entertainment, and by Shawn "JAY Z" Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran "Ty Ty'' Smith through Marcy Media.
Gluck is reportedly revising the film's screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical stage play Annie book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin.
The whole concept is based on the venerable "Little Orphan Annie,'' a newspaper comic strip that reached enormous popularity in the middle of the 20th Century.