Sometimes pop culture throws you a bone and combines all the things that vaguely irritate you into a single project, so it's all sequestered safely in one area and doesn't stand a chance of infecting something you might actually like. So as much as it's probably a harbinger of the apocalypse that, according to Deadline, Ryan Murphy is Sony's top choice to direct Willow Smith in a remake of Annie, I'm taking heart-- it means there's something else he won't direct, and maybe his and Will Smith's massive egos will collide in a spectacular way.

You may remember the news at the end of last month that Smith would be teaming up with Jay-Z-- remember his "Hard Knock Life"?-- for the remake, which would star 10-year-old daughter and platinum-selling singer Willow. The talks with Murphy are in "early days," but he had a hit for Sony last summer with Eat Pray Love and obviously has a way with musical numbers, especially the over-produced, autotuned kind that kids these days love.

So there you have it-- two pop culture juggernauts, one irritating through no fault of her own and only because her parents seem to be farming her out as a mini-mogul, the other totally irritating for reasons entirely his fault, might be teaming up. I'm rooting for the return of the movie musical harder than probably anyone, but this seems like it would be 18 different steps in the wrong direction. At least if Murphy went for this, it might keep him away from the Wicked musical and give that one a shot at actually being good.

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