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Quvenzhane Wallis' 'Annie' to Hit Theaters Christmas 2014

Wasting no time, Sony Pictures Entertainment has staked out Christmas Day 2014 for the theatrical release of Annie, starring Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role.

The studio announced that Wallis would star in the film only hours before the Feb. 24 Academy Awards ceremony, where the young actress was up for best actress for her role in the indie breakout Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Will Gluck is directing Annie, based on the iconic stage musical. Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment is producing the movie with Marcy Media.

“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. She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her," said Sony president of production Hannah Minghella.

She announced the Dec. 25, 2014, release date in tandem with Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad.