Taraji P. Henson will play Shug Avery in Warner Bros.’ upcoming film adaptation of The Color Purple‘s Broadway musical. She joins music star H.E.R., who will play Squeak, and Corey Hawkins, who is Harpo. Variety broke the news of Henson’s casting.
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. 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.