Gluck helming Jay-Z and Smith’s Annie
Will Gluck will direct Jay-Z and Will Smith’s forthcoming adaptation of musical classic Annie.

The Easy A and Friends with Benefits director has come up triumphant in a selection process that has taken months.

According to Variety, Gluck was up against stiff competition, as Footloose director Craig Brewer and Eat Pray Love helmer Ryan Murphy were also rumoured to be among the top choices for the job.

An American musical based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the story centres on an orphan named Annie who gets caught up in a host of adventures on her quest to find a family.

Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment will oversee production of the feature for Sony Pictures.

Representing Overbrook, Will, his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and his business partner James Lassiter will team up with fellow producers Jay-Z and Marcy Media representatives Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith.

Will and Jada’s daughter Willow was originally attached to play the lead in the film, but she has since dropped out.

When the project was in development years ago Willow was nine-years-old. The 12-year-old has reached adolescence and has outgrown the part.

It is unknown who will be replacing her in the starring role.

Director Will is revising a script written by Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna.

Annie will begin filming in the fall and is aiming for a 2014 release date.