The iconic novel by Alice Walker, “The Color Purple,” is set to captivate audiences once again, this time in the form of a mesmerizing movie musical. Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for the highly anticipated adaptation, featuring a star-studded cast and directed by Blitz Bazawule. Produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, this rendition promises to bring the timeless story to life in a visually stunning and musically enchanting way.
The trailer takes viewers on a journey into Celie’s world, with Fantasia Barrino, renowned R&B icon and winner of “American Idol,” stepping into the role she previously portrayed on Broadway. Fantasia’s major screen debut is already generating excitement, as fans eagerly anticipate her portrayal of Celie’s emotional depth and resilience. The trailer showcases the vibrant sisterhood that lies at the heart of the story, offering glimpses of the extraordinary performances and jaw-dropping production design against the backdrop of Mister’s Farm.
Joining Fantasia are a talented ensemble cast, including Danielle Brooks as Sofia, who garnered a Tony nomination for her portrayal in the 2016 Broadway revival, and the talented Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery. Colman Domingo, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Corey Hawkins, and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor also grace the screen with their exceptional performances. The film boasts an impressive lineup of esteemed actors, including Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Ciara, Deon Cole, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Tamala J. Mann, Stephen Hill, Jon Batiste, and Elizabeth Marvel.
The trailer teases memorable scenes from the movie, including a poignant moment where Shug Avery teaches Celie how to apply lipstick. Oprah Winfrey, who not only serves as a producer but also starred in the original 1985 film adaptation, revealed that the line was improvised, adding an authentic and heartfelt touch to the scene. When asked about the decision to retell this powerful story after almost four decades, Winfrey emphasized the continued relevance of the themes of self-discovery, self-empowerment, and the transformative power of love. “As long as there is a need for people to know what it feels like to be loved and to be made full by somebody else’s love, there will be a need for ‘The Color Purple,'” she stated.
With its Christmas day release, Winfrey and Bazawule aim to deliver a film that brings healing and touches the hearts of audiences. Winfrey shared a conversation she had with Fantasia, who expressed how the original movie had changed her by allowing her to find forgiveness. Fantasia believes that those who watch the new adaptation will also experience healing through the story’s profound messages.
“The Color Purple” has a rich history of adaptations, beginning with the groundbreaking novel in 1982, followed by Spielberg’s acclaimed film in 1985. The story made its way to the stage in 2004 as a Tony-nominated musical, featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell, and Alee Willis. The 2016 revival earned four Tony nominations and two wins, including Best Musical Revival and Best Actress for Cynthia Erivo’s remarkable performance as Celie.
Under the direction of Blitz Bazawule, known for his work on “Black Is King,” the film brings together a talented team of creatives, including director of photography Dan Laustsen, production designer Paul Denham Austerberry, editor Jon Poll, choreographer Fatima Robinson, and costume designer Francine Jamison-Tanchuck. The music, composed by Kris Bowers, is sure to elevate the emotional resonance of the story, with music supervisors Jordan Carroll and Morgan Rhodes contributing their expertise. The film boasts an impressive lineup of executive producers, including author Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini, Mara Jacobs, Adam Fell, Courtenay Valenti, Sheila Walcott, and Michael Beugg.
As the release of this highly anticipated movie musical approaches, fans of the novel, the previous adaptations, and music lovers alike eagerly await the opportunity to immerse themselves in the transformative world of “The Color Purple.” With its powerful themes of love, resilience, and self-discovery, this rendition promises to resonate with audiences and reignite the timeless magic of Alice Walker’s classic story.