The musical film adaptation of The Color Purple has added some more cast members.
Louis Gossett Jr. will play Ol’ Mister, with David Alan Grier and Tamela Mann playing Reverend Avery and First Lady, respectively. Deon Cole will play Alfonso. Phylicia Mpasi will play Young Celie and Stephen Hill rounds out the cast as Buster.
Previously, Fantasia was cast as Celie. She also played the role on Broadway, similar to Danielle Brooks, who will also reprise her role as Sofia for the film. Taraji P. Henson will join the cast as Shug Avery. Colman Domingo as Mister and Corey Hawkins as Harpo round out the main cast. Halle Bailey will play Young Nettie with H.E.R. playing Squeak. Both H.E.R. and Mpasi are making their feature debuts as well in this film.
Some of the cast announcements were already expected; reports between 2021 and 2022 previously broke the news that H.E.R., Hawkins, Henson, Fantasia, Brooks, Bailey and Colman were set to join the cast. Blitz Bazawule was also announced as the director in 2020, with Marcus Gardley adapting the screenplay. Fatima Robinson will serve as choreographer.
Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg–the director of the 1980s film adaptation of Alice Walker’s book–Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones will produce. Winfrey said of the project that Bazawule was chosen to direct after Jones saw Bazawule’s film, The Burial of Kojo.
“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,” said Winfrey in a statement.
The Color Purple is expected to come to theaters Dec. 21, 2023.