Halle Bailey, Fantasia, and More Star in the Sweeping Trailer For “The Color Purple” Movie Musical
Alice Walker’s acclaimed story, “The Color Purple,” is heading back to the big screen for a new generation this December – and fans are getting a first look at the highly anticipated reimagining. Steven Spielberg‘s version of the beloved tale – which follows the extraordinary sisterhood of three women who share one unbreakable bond – debuted in theaters in 1985 with Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Akosua Busia, Margaret Avery, and Oprah Winfrey in an ensemble cast. Now, almost 40 years later, the classic film – which later became a Tony award-winning Broadway musical – is getting a “bold new take” from director Blitz Bazawule with an equally star-studded cast.
The trailer for the reimagined musical version of the story was finally released for audiences on May 22 and in it, we meet Fantasia Taylor (Celie), Halle Bailey (Nettie), Phylicia Pearl Mpasi (Young Celie), Colman Domingo (Mister), and Taraji P. Henson (Shug Avery) as their beloved characters for the first time. From Taylor’s magnificent vocals and Bailey’s passionate iteration of Nettie to Henson’s lively portrayal of Shug Avery, the movie promises a one-of-a-kind musical and theatrical performance.
In a virtual press conference held ahead of the trailer’s debut, which POPSUGAR attended, Winfrey, a producer for the new film, spoke about the importance of onboarding a remake of “The Color Purple” all these years later. “I can’t tell you what a full-circle moment it is,” she said reflecting on her time in the original 1985 movie. “The reason why this film is so important is because as long as there’s a need for self-discovery, self-empowerment, victory is someone’s life, a need for people to know what it feels like to be loved up and be made whole through somebody else’s love, there will be a need for ‘The Color Purple.'”
Of recreating the classic tale in today’s era, Bazawule added, “As Oprah said, the context of ‘The Color Purple’ itself is evergreen. As long as there continue to be issues of gender bias, [abuse], racial inequality, penal systems that are biased, all these things are central to what ‘The Color Purple’ is, and if you look out your window, it’s happening today.”
The movie musical for “The Color Purple” is based on Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the 2015 musical stage play written by Marsha Norman – which centers on the 40-year tale of Celie as she navigates surviving abuse and bigotry in the South after she’s forced to separate from her sister, Nettie. The forthcoming film is coproduced by Winfrey, Spielberg, Quincy Jones, and Scott Sanders, with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.
Sharing what audiences can expect from the movie when it premieres later this year, Winfrey exclaimed, “Joy!” and added that it’s a “family,” “sisterhood,” and “individual film for anybody who wants to feel a sense of hopefulness in these times and triumph.” Meanwhile, Bazawule noted that viewers will be drawn to the “communal feeling” of “The Color Purple” and the emotional experience it’ll take them through.
Read ahead for everything else we know about “The Color Purple” movie musical.