“The Color Purple” the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker is an iconic piece of literature. Steven Spielberg‘s film adaptation is highly recognized. The film earned eleven Academy Award nominations, grossing $98.4 million at the box office. A massive success and apparently a huge gamble for Spielberg. The story has since experienced a Broadway musical adaptation. Blitz Bazawule is directing a film version of the musical. It will be produced by Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey (who originally played Sofia in the 1985 film and received an Oscar nomination for it).
“The Color Purple” is a coming-of-age, dramatic story about the struggles and experiences of black women in the 1920s. Sisters Celie and Nettie experience significant hardships from early ages. Eventually the two become separated. But promise to write one another every day until they can find each other again. What unfolds is a story of hardship, pain, reclamation, and the power of female strength.
“As long as there is a need for people to feel what it means to be loved up… there will be a need for The Color Purple…I believe that in the future, this story just grows, and it never grows old…It is a classic, it is iconic,” Winfrey said during a Q&A before the trailer’s release. “To be able to step into that with a boldness of vision that Blitz had for this film, and create this magically realized version, where we actually go inside Celie’s head is pretty incredible.”
In order to make a musical truly powerful, you need a truly powerful cast. Starring in the adaptation is Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey, Danielle Brooks (who lead the cast on Broadway), H.E.R, Corey Hawkins and Aunjanue Ellis. Bazawule claims the cast spoiled them. “I was like the spoiled director…The amount of talent, ability and brilliance was through the roof.”
The film is set to open in theaters in North America on December 25th, 2023 and internationally beginning January 18th, 2024.