Warner Bros.’ upcoming film adaptation of The Color Purple‘s Broadway musical has found its first star.
Deadline is reporting that Corey Hawkins has been cast and is eyed to play Harpo. Black Is King director Blitz Bazawule is helming the pic.
The trade publication states, “We’ve been hearing for some time about Hawkins circling Color Purple and that the studio was even testing actresses opposite him.”
As reported back in August, 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.
Hawkins recently starred in Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights and will be seen soon opposite Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth.