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SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday, the trailer for the new "Annie" was unveiled. It has a few noticeable updates, including pop-culture references, a swanky penthouse and names like "Benjamin Stacks" instead of Daddy Warbucks. (Makes sense.)
The stage play has been adapted twice already, starring greats like Carol Burnett and Audra McDonald. Gone is the bright red hair that was one of Annie's trademarks, but Quvenzhané Wallis brings the spunk that is the true center of the character. This version is funkier, not straying from the heart and soul of the original, but appealing to a modern audience. The latest version is one of many productions that are being cast with A-listers, given a 21st-century twist and handed to audiences who are clamoring for more movie musicals.
Slated for a release December 19
Into The Woods
Planned release: December 25
Still in pre-production
West Side Story
Here are three more to look forward to:
'Into The Woods'
In this offbeat fairy tale, no one is what he or she seems, which makes it a perfect Hollywood project. Starring greats like Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp and fan favorites Anna Kendrick and James Corden, the ensemble cast should bring the enthusiasm of the book to movie theaters everywhere.
The planned adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" prequel hasn't been cast, but the rumors swirling around include "Glee's" Lea Michele, Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick and even One Direction's Harry Styles. The stage version launched the careers of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel into the stratosphere, but casting already-famous actors could turn the movie version of "Wicked" into a surefire moneymaker at the box office.
'West Side Story'
Only rumored to be the dear ambition of director Steven Spielberg, things are moving forward to adapt and update the 1961 Best Picture winner. More than 50 years later, the timeless story could do with some modern-day tie-ins to increase its relatability. The recent stage revival only played for two years, but with Spielberg at the helm, anything is possible.
Bringing stage to screen has been a gamble, with award-winning hits like "Chicago" and "Les Miserables" outshining less well-received fare like "Rock of Ages." Success on Broadway obviously doesn't translate to success in Hollywood. What do you think? Should plays stay on stage, or are the movies better?