Breaking Down That New Annie Trailer — And The Worst Reactions To It

By Arturo R. García

So after watching the trailer a couple of times Wednesday night, I came away feeling not totally worried about the forthcoming Annie remake. Quvenzhané Wallis looks like she’ll inhabit the title role more than capably — showing her ask “What’s the hustle?” was a nice touch to include this early — and Jamie Foxx (as Michael Bloomberg stand-in Benjamin Stacks) and Rose Byrne (as his girl Friday, uh, Grace) came off well in this trailer.

Cameron Diaz’s take on Miss Hannigan, here reimagined as a foster mother for Annie and her friends, looks less steady, shading further toward Carrie Bradshaw than Carol Burnett. The film’s IMDB page also reveals another potential setback for the character: there’s no listing for Daniel “Rooster” Hannigan, depriving Diaz’s Hannigan — at least thus far — of someone with whom to banter beyond Annie and Stacks. The music and choreography, from the brief glimpses we get in this trailer, don’t look bad.

The story also looks like a simplified version of the original, which you can either take or leave, considering that the 1982 vehicle featured “Bolsheviks,” assassination attempts, bodyguards named “Punjab” and “The Asp,” and Daddy Warbucks hanging around with Franklin D. Roosevelt. And while sites like ScreenRant and Jezebel also liked the trailer, it’s a long jump from a good two-minute clipshow to a coherent final product. (Remember, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen had a pretty well-liked trailer, and … well.)

In other words, there’s plenty of good discussion to be had about this movie; for starters, you might be surprised to see Emma Thompson — yes, that Emma Thompson — is one of the three writers. (In truth, it’s her 13th writing effort.)

But as you might imagine, some Internet Racists just couldn’t stop themselves from catching feelings. So, for anybody wondering why our comments policy is tight, we picked some real “winners” to show you under the cut.

We begin at Entertainment Weekly, where at least some folks were kind enough to jump on one troll:

This next cat goes through an odd progression. He starts with a fairly standard-issue gripes about remakes:

And then races right for the bottom:

But this is surely his crowning Internet achievement:

But Drago sounds downright eloquent compared to some of the folks at ComingSoon.Net:

And even though a good number of the cast appears to be non-Black, this fine gentleman at 411Mania would have you know that this is in fact, Shaft re-re-dux:

Annie may have escaped the proverbial “gutter,” but in some corners of the Internet, it appears the stink just isn’t going to wear off.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

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  • DovSherman

    How much do you want to bet that these people were just fine with Tonto and Khan being played by white people?

    • nevilleross

      They were fine with it 2000%-sad that it didn’t help the movie at the box office, though.

      As for Khan, considering the skin color of the man behind 9/11 and other similar terrorist incidents, and how having Khan be what he was originally would have just set off a firestorm of protest (‘why can’t we have Starfleet officers of color?’), I think that it’s better that Khan (if ever he was an Indian) be white this time.

  • Medusa

    K then.

    Actually no, I have more to say than that, but to keep the epic rant forming down in my mind to a reasonable proportion, the Dreamgirls/Annie comparison doesn’t make any damn sense; how many white girl R&B/soul musical acts did America have in the 1960’s? How many rich black millionaires as well as black children in foster care are there in 2014? This comparison doesn’t even make sense.

    • boBisa

      Also, Dreamgirls was specifically supposed to mirror the rise and fall of the Supremes, was it not? There was a very specific tension between Diana and Florence Ballard that was kind of the downfall of the group and led to Ross going on to being a solo artist, with the manager giving preference to Ross, and that’s basically most the plot of Dreamgirls. All very based Motown record culture drama of the 60s. Soooo… yea, I’m not seeing that musical translate to a white girl group from that era, unless you want to do a musical about the Shangri-Las or the Tonettes? At least the Spice Girls had a musical, Viva Forever!

      And now I’ve gone on to Tangent City, Population: Me.

      • nevilleross

        Even better, the Spice Girls had their version of A Hard Day’s Night, Spice World (which unlike A Hard Day’s Night, had a plot, at least.)

  • Ash

    I don’t know how anyone with half a brain (okay, we’re talking about internet racists, what do I expect) comes away from the trailer with their first gripe being that Annie and “Daddy Warbucks” are black. Both lead actors (Wallis and Foxx) look like they’ve done a great job with the roles, which is no surprise given the outstanding performances both have delivered in the past. Cameron Diaz, however, appears to have been woefully miscast. Carol Burnett is iconic as Ms. Hannigan, and an equally iconic performer should have been chosen. Based on the IMDB for the new film, it appears that both Rooster (originally played by the incredible Tim Curry) and Lily St. Regis (the incomparable Bernadette Peters) have also been cut out. These were some of the most entertaining characters, and they would have provided great performance opportunities in the hands of capable actors. Actors of any racial background would have been fine in these roles, but my first thought is that Octavia Spencer could have killed as Lilly St. Regis or Ms. Hannigan (okay, I don’t know if she can sing, but lots of people who can’t sing have done these kinds of roles).

  • nevilleross

    Just a little FYI:

    Punjab and The Asp

    Loved the summing up of this; I’ve almost had a high blood pressure-started heart attack because of these idiots and the white privilege expectations that Annie be always white and set in the 1930’s. There was a similar reaction when news about a big screen-remake of It Takes a Thief that was to have starred Will Smith surfaced; somehow, nobody believes that a black man could play this character, just as nobody believes that a black girl could be Annie.

    Let’s hope for more casting of iconic characters like this.

  • riceballmommy

    I was so excited when I just saw the cast for this. The trailer makes it a definite must see for me. I usually can’t stand Annie in any incarnation I’ve seen. But this actually looks sweet and endearing.