The Color Purple is a 2023 American musical coming-of-age period drama film directed by Blitz Bazawule from a screenplay by Marcus Gardley, based on the stage musical of the same name, which in turn is based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It is the second film adaptation of the novel, following the 1985 film directed by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg and Quincy Jones return to produce this version, along with the stage musical’s producers Scott Sanders and Oprah Winfrey, the latter of whom also starred in the 1985 film as Sofia. The film stars Fantasia Barrino (in her feature film debut), Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Aunjanue Ellis, and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi. Barrino and Brooks both reprise their roles from productions of the stage musical.
The Color Purple is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 25, 2023, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
A story of the life-long struggles of an African American woman living in the south during the early 1900s.
- Fantasia Barrino as Celie Harris-Johnson
- Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as young Celie
- Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery
- Danielle Brooks as Sofia
- Colman Domingo as Albert “Mister” Johnson
- Corey Hawkins as Harpo Johnson
- H.E.R. as Squeak / Mary Agnes
- Ciara as Nettie Harris
- Halle Bailey as young Nettie
- Aunjanue Ellis as Mama
- Jon Batiste as Grady
- Louis Gossett Jr. as Ol’ Mister Johnson
- David Alan Grier as Rev. Samuel Avery
- Deon Cole as Alfonso
- Tamela J. Mann as First Lady
- Stephen Hill as Henry “Buster” Broadnax
- Elizabeth Marvel as Miss Millie
On November 2, 2018, it was announced that a film adaptation of the musical was in development at Warner Bros. Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, the same companies that made the 1985 film adaptation of the novel, with Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, and Oprah Winfrey all signed on to produce. In August 2020, it was announced that Marcus Gardley will pen the screenplay and Black Is King’s Blitz Bazawule will direct.
Winfrey praised the selection of Bazawule as director, after she and the producers saw his work on The Burial of Kojo, saying that they “were all blown away by Blitz’s unique vision as a director and look forward to seeing how he brings the next evolution of this beloved story to life.” It was also announced that Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini, and Mara Jacobs will executive produce the film.
In August 2021, Corey Hawkins was cast in a lead role. That same month, H.E.R. was cast in her feature acting debut. In February 2022, Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, and Halle Bailey joined the cast, with Barrino and Brooks reprising their roles from productions of the stage musical. In March 2022, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Tamela J. Mann, Phylicia Mpasi, Deon Cole, Stephen Hill, and Ciara joined the cast. In April 2022, Aunjanue Ellis, Elizabeth Marvel and Jon Batiste joined the cast.
Filming began in March 2022, with production taking place at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island from March 16 to March 25. Filming officially wrapped in July 2022.
Siedah Garrett will be joining Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray (in place of the late Allee Willis) in contributing new material to the film’s score.
The film will be released on December 25, 2023. It was originally scheduled to be released on December 20, 2023, but later switched release dates with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
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