Playbill Poll: Who Should Play Miss Hannigan in "Annie" Film, With Quvenzhane Wallis? Readers Respond

By Playbill Staff
June 23, 2013

When news broke that Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock was no longer attached to "Annie," the upcoming film remake of the 1982 movie musical that will star 2013 Academy Award nominee Quvenzhane Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild"), we wondered: Who should take on the role of Miss Hannigan?

* polled our readers via Facebook and Twitter, asking who should take on the iconic role of evil orphanage matron Miss Hannigan?

Here are some reader responses followed by our own commentary:

Timothy Hollis: Definitely Jane Lynch! She's absolutely perfect for the role.

Emmy Award-wining "Glee" star Jane Lynch is currently starring as Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie. The actress proved at this year's Tony Awards that she shines in the role with her performance of "Little Girls." When she wraps her limited engagement on Broadway July 14, maybe she can hang onto her costumes for the film. Read the Playbill magazine feature with Lynch, who talks about playing Hannigan, here.

NeNe Leakes
Eric Peterson: NeNe Leakes. OBVIOUSLY.

If "Glee" star Lynch doesn't land the part, how about NeNe Leakes, who also appeared on "Glee" as Sue Sylvester's rival, Coach Roz? Leakes, who rose to fame on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," has also been seen on television in "The New Normal," featuring The Book of Mormon's Andrew Rannells. Maybe this is her time to move from the small screen to the big.

Melissa McCarthy
Photo by ABC/Rick Rowell
Lauren Fleishman Nielsen: Jane Lynch or Melissa McCarthy

Lynch was a popular suggestion amongst our readers, but so was actress Melissa McCarthy, who was Oscar-nominated for her role in "Bridesmaids" and won the Emmy for her work on television's "Mike & Molly." On screen and television, McCarthy has great comic timing and would be a great fit for the overbearing orphanage matron Hannigan.

Queen Latifah
James Mooney: Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah, who starred as Matron "Mama" Morton in the Oscar-winning film adaptation of Chicago, is an obvious choice to play Hannigan. Latifah received an Academy Award nomination for her work in "Chicago," and we're sure she'd get another nod if she took on the iconic role in "Annie."

Vanessa Williams
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Cheri-lyn Corwin: Vanessa Williams

Tony Award nominee Vanessa Williams is currently starring in the Broadway revival of The Trip to Bountiful. We would love to see the actress, who was nominated for her performance as the Witch in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods, sing again. When she finishes her Broadway run, hopefully she can take her next Trip to the Municipal Girls Orphanage.

Wanda Sykes
Mark Femia: Wanda Sykes

Comedian Wanda Sykes made her musical debut in the role of Miss Hannigan at The Media Theatre in Media, PA, in 2010. We would love to see what the actress — who is known for her work on film, television and at comedy clubs — can do with the part. The upcoming film remake is the perfect medium for her to demonstrate her musical abilities.

Whoopi Goldberg
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Luzma Ortiz: Whoopi Goldberg!!!!

Whoopi Goldberg, who was seen in the Tony Award-nominated Theatrical Event named after herself, is a great choice for the "Annie" film remake. The actress and television personality has been behind the scenes in the theatrical world lately — working as a producer on the musical Sister Act — so we can't wait to see her stand in the spotlight again.

Audra McDonald
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
@spalinabean: @playbill AUDRA

Five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald played the elegant Grace Farrell in the 1999 television film adaptation of Annie, starring Victor Garber as Oliver Warbucks and Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan. Our readers think this time around she would fit in the role of the evil Miss Hannigan. With five Tony Awards under her belt and a sassy performance at this year's Tony Awards — including dropping the microphone at the end of the ceremony — we have no doubts!

Lenny Bernal: MADEA!

Madea, the no-nonsense, over-the-top elderly woman created by actor, director and writer Tyler Perry, could be a perfect match for the Will Gluck-directed "Annie" remake. If you haven't seen her in action, go to YouTube and check out her outrageous performances in "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Madea's Family Reunion" and more!

Bette Midler
Photo by Jonathan Pushnik
Jenny Bennett: Bette Midler

Bette Midler, who can currently be seen in I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, was a popular choice amongst our readers. Here is our readers' wish list of other roles for the iconic actress.

Carol Burnett
Matthew Whitenack: Uhm. Carol Burnett. It ain't broke…

Who could forget Carol Burnett's spot-on comic performance in the 1982 film version of "Annie"? Like our reader said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Other choices included Patti LuPone, Megan Mullally, Amy Adams, Mo'Nique, Octavia Spencer, Mary J. Blige, Idina Menzel and Neil Patrick Harris, among others.