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Your Guide To The Color Purple

June 15th, 2023Your Guide To The Color Purple

THE COLOR PURPLE opens December 25th

During the holiday season, audiences who are not interested in heading to the movies to see yet another new Christmas film will still have the option to see something that promises to be a rousing, inspirational, and moving crowd-pleaser in the form of THE COLOR PURPLE. This is only the latest cinematic adaptation of the classic story, but when it comes to AMC Theatres in December, audiences will immediately realize that it is nothing like how moviegoers have experienced it before. See why in our guide to all the most essential facts regarding the film, below.

Fantasia Barrino Stars

Years after winning the third season of “American Idol,” Fantasia Barrino went on to play Celie Harris-Johnson in a 2007 Broadway adaptation of THE COLOR PURPLE and – according to THR – the singer is reprising the role to lead the new cinematic version’s star-studded cast. As Variety noted, the ensemble also includes Academy Award® nominee Taraji P. Henson as jazz singer Shug Avery, former “Orange is the New Black” star Danielle Brooks as Sofia, Corey Hawkins as Harpo Johnson, and Oscar®-winning R&B singer, H.E.R., as Squeak.

A Vanity Fair article also reported that THE LITTLE MERMAID’s Halle Bailey plays Celie’s sister, Nettie – a role she shares with pop star Ciara as her older self, according to EW – and CANDYMAN’s Colman Domingo stars as Celie’s husband, who is referred to as “Mister.” THE COLOR PURPLE cast also features – according to Essence – Oscar nominee Aunjunue Ellis, and – as another Essence article reports – comedians David Allen Grier of “In Living Color” fame and “Black-ish” star Deon Cole, Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. and bearing striking resemblance to Barrino is the newcomer playing her character’s younger self, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi.

A Musical Based On The Novel

Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel, The Color Purple, traces Celie’s life as a victim of numerous abusers, from her father as a teen to her husband as an adult, while struggling with her own sense of identity in the early 20th Century. The story was first adapted into a 1985 film by director Steven Spielberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg in her first Academy Award-nominated role before it was turned into the aforementioned, acclaimed Broadway musical.

This latest cinematic interpretation of THE COLOR PURPLE – from screenwriter Marcus Gardley – is also a musical, bringing the Tony Award-winning stage show and its spectacular numbers to the big screen. So, it makes sense that the film cast so many artists known for their singing talents.

Blitz Bazawule Directs

At the helm of THE COLOR PURPLE is an artist who is well-versed in directing musical productions, Blitz Bazawule. The filmmaker is best known for directing segments of Beyoncé’s Grammy-nominated, Disney+ exclusive visual album, BLACK IS KING, from 2020.

He made his feature-length directorial debut with 2018’s THE BURIAL OF KOJO, which was the first film from his country of Ghana to be submitted for a Golden Globes nomination and to be released on Netflix. He also directed two episodes of creator Ava DuVernay’s romantic drama series, “Cherish the Day,” which – being an OWN Network original – also counts as his first collaboration with Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah And Spielberg Produce

Oprah Winfrey made her acting debut in the role of Sophia in 1985’s THE COLOR PURPLE, would later become a main investor in the Broadway show, and is now returning to the world of Alice Walker’s story once again by producing the cinematic musical adaptation. The influential media mogul conducted an interview with Bazawule, Barrino, Henson, and Brooks at Warner Bros’. CinemaCon 2023 showcase, during which she claimed, “It’s not your mama’s COLOR PURPLE, but you mama’s gonna like it.”

Also returning to the world of THE COLOR PURPLE is the director of the original movie, Steven Spielberg. The Academy Award-winning filmmaking icon also serves as a producer this time, along with legendary musician Quincy Jones (who also produced and scored the music for the 1985 version) and IN THE HEIGHTS producer Scott Sanders, who helped Winfrey bring the story to Broadway initially.

Watch The Trailer

The first official trailer for THE COLOR PURPLE refers to the film as “a bold new take on the beloved classic.” You might actually be able tell just how true that claim is by seeing the clip for yourself:

Set to Barrino’s astonishing rendition of “I’m Here,” from the Broadway adaptation, the trailer puts much of its focus on the close bond between Celie and Nettie, which is torn apart by the cruel “Mister.” We also see a tease of her relationship with Sofia, Shug providing her with some much-needed mentorship, and brief glimpses of what appear to be some inventive fantasy sequences to accompany the musical numbers.

It looks like Oprah, the queen of gift-giving, is presenting us with something that many audiences may be calling one of their own “favorite things” with THE COLOR PURPLE. Be sure to witness this new interpretation of the classic story when it comes to an AMC Theatres location near you!

THE COLOR PURPLE opens December 25th

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