Will Gluck, a director and screenwriter whose credits include Easy A, Friends With Benefits and several TV series, had never written a musical prior to getting the job of updating the classic Broadway hit Annie. He hired two songwriters who also had no experience in musicals: Sia Furler (of "Chandelier" fame) and Greg Kurstin.
"I met with a lot of songwriters and I immediately fell in love with Sia," says Gluck, 42, who also provided input on casting, music and editing for the Columbia Pictures film that opens Dec. 19. "She introduced me to Greg, who had to learn quickly. I'd say, 'We need a piece of score here,' and he'd say, 'What does that mean?' "