Warner Bros. released the first full look at the upcoming The Color Purple musical, starring Fantasia, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Danielle Brooks, H.E.R., The Little Mermaid sensation Halle Bailey, and many more. It’s immediately apparent that the film, hailing from director Blitz Bazawule, looks to stand totally on its own when compared to Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated original take on the Alice Walker novel. The trailer already hints at the visually stunning theatricality the film will offer in addition to strong performances.
This version adapts the stage musical which premiered on Broadway in 2005 and was later revived in 2015. Both productions received Lead Actress Tony Awards for the actresses playing Celie (LaChanze, Cynthia Erivo). Obviously, it’s a great role, so look out for Fantasia in the awards race. This is not her first time taking on the role — she received widespread acclaim during her stint on Broadway. Danielle Brooks, playing Sofia, also received a Tony nomination in 2015, so she’s one to look out for as well in addition to Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery.
This looks to be a major contender across the board. Remember that the original film received 10 nominations, and Bazawule already appears to be making a compelling case for revisiting this material through the musical form.
The Color Purple opens Christmas Day 2023.