The film adaptation of Broadway's The Color Purple musical has added four cast members, including the two leads.
Fantasia Taylor and Danielle Brooks have been cast as the lead actresses in the Warner Bros. film as Celie and Sofia. The casting makes sense, as both portrayed the characters on Broadway.
Halle Bailey has also been cast as Young Nettie and Colman Domingo has been cast as Mister.
The quad joins the previously cast Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Corey Hawkins as Harpo and H.E.R. as Squeak.
Black Is King director Blitz Bazawule is directing the film. As reported back in August 2020, producers Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones went with Bzawule after seeing his film, The Burial Of Kojo, on Netflix.
“We were all blown away by Blitz’s unique vision as a director and look forward to seeing how he brings the next evolution of this beloved story to life,” Winfrey said in a prior statement.
Marcus Gardley is adapting the screenplay, based on the Broadway version of Alice Walker’s seminal novel. Choreography is by Fatima Robinson.
The Broadway musical first debuted in 2005, getting 11 Tony nominations. LaChanze won a Tony for her role as Celie. In the 2015 revival, it picked up four other nods, including one for Cynthia Erivo.
The film adaptation is set to be released on December 21, 2023.
The casting of Taylor and Brooks was announced during ABC News’ Soul of a Nation: Screen Queens Rising.
Winfrey surprised them during the interview for the episode with Linsey Davis.
“I am here representing all things purple to tell you that you are our Sophia,” she said, announcing the news to Brooks. “I’m so happy to pass whatever baton from 35 — almost 40 — years ago to you. And I know you’re gonna kill it.”
“My heart is so full,” said Brooks. “I’m going to make you so proud.”
“You already have,” Winfrey responded. “I wanted to be the one to tell you because you know I have such love for her, this character, everything she represents and everything she brought to my life. And what I’m hoping is that she does the same thing for you.”
Watch the clip of Winfrey surprising the actresses below:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 4, 2022