The Color Purple is coming back to the big screen. Warner Bros. is backing the revamp, this time in the form of a musical movie inspired by the Broadway adaptation, which garnered several Tony awards. The film is based on the 1982 novel of the same title by Alice Walker, which tells the story of Celie Harris and her life-long struggles as a Black woman in the Jim Crow South in the early 1900s. A film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg was released in 1985.
This time around, Oscar-winning singer and musician H.E.R. has been tapped for a role, making it her feature film debut. H.E.R., born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, is behind hits like “Best Part” and “Focus.” She’s also behind the took home the Oscar for best original song for “Fight For You,” featured in Judas and the Black Messiah.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, H.E.R. will star as Squeak. In the musical, her character makes a transition from a juke joint waitress to an aspiring singer.
The musical movie is currently in pre-production, with casting still in progress. H.E.R. is reportedly working behind the scenes with filmmakers to potentially perform a new original song in the film.
Winfrey is producing the film with her Harpo Films company. Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones, are also producing – both of whom worked on the Broadway musical. Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini, Adam Fell, and Mara Jacobs executive producing.
The film currently has a release date of December 20, 2023.