Trailer: The film adaptation of the Tony-winning musical ‘The Color Purple’ with Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo and Halle Bailey
Today, Warner Bros released the first trailer for the upcoming movie musical adaptation of the Tony Award-winning production The Color Purple, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, directed by Blitz Bazawule (Beyoncé’s “Black Is King”) directed the film from a script by Marcus Gardley (Showtime’s The Chi).
The first look, taking great advantage of Halle Bailey’s fast-rising star (her The Little Mermaid opens this coming weekend) featuring her as Young Nettie and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as Young Celie as sisters growing up in the early 1900s American south before being ripped apart.
Based on a 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker, the story centers on Celie, a Black Southern woman in the early 20th century who is abused by her father and husband. In 1985, Spielberg directed and produced a movie adaptation starring Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery (all of whom earned Oscar nominations), plus Danny Glover and Laurence Fishburne. The film received 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (Spielberg himself was snubbed), but went home empty-handed, tying 1977’s The Turning Point for that unfortunate feat.
In 2005, the story was adapted into a Tony-nominated musical written by playwright Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell and Alee Willis. The critically acclaimed production received 11 Tony nominations. The 2016 revival earned four Tony nominations and scored two wins, including Best Revival of a Musical and leading actress for Cynthia Erivo’s performance as Celie.
In this feature adaptation of the Broadway musical, Fantasia Barrino stars as Celie in her major motion picture debut and reprising her role from the original 2005 Broadway production alongside Emmy Award and Tony Award nominee Danielle Brooks as Sofia, who earned her Tony nomination for her performance in the 2016 Broadway revival, Emmy and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo as Mister, Academy Award, Grammy and Tony Award winner H.E.R. as Squeak, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, Corey Hawkins as Harpo and Emmy and Academy Award nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as Mama plus Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. as Ol’ Mister, David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery, Grammy Award winner Ciara as Nettie, Deon Cole as Alfonso, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as Young Celie, Tamala J. Mann as First Lady, Stephen Hill as Buster, Grammy and Academy Award winner Jon Batiste as Grady and Elizabeth Marvel as Miss Millie.
Along with Spielberg and Winfrey, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones also serve as producers. Author Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini, Mara Jacobs, Adam Fell, Courtenay Valenti, Sheila Walcott and Michael Beugg are executive producers.
Behind the camera there is Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water), Academy Award-wining production designer Paul Denham Austerberry (The Shape of Water) and editor Jon Poll. The choreographer is by Fatima Robinson (Dreamgirls) and the costumes are designed by Francine Jamison-Tanchuck (Emancipation, One Night in Miami). Music supervisors are Jordan Carroll and Morgan Rhodes; original music is by Emmy and Academy Award nominee Kris Bowers; and the executive music producers are Nick Baxter, Stephen Bray and Bazawule.
The film is set for theatrical release by Warner Bros in the U.S. on December 25 and internationally on January 18, 2024. Here is the first trailer.