As Warner Bros. Pictures prepares to get ready for the filming start of The Color Purple, the studio continues to expand the musical film adaptation’s ensemble cast with the addition of award-winning artist Ciara. According to EW, the “1, 2 Step” singer is set to portray the adult version of Nettie, whose young version will be played by Halle Bailey (The Little Mermaid).
In Steven Spielberg’s 1985 adaptation, the said character was portrayed by Ghanian actress and filmmaker Akosua Busia. As for its first Broadway run, Nettie was played by Tony nominee Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton).
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel by Alice Walker, it follows the story of Celie and other African-American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s and their struggles with racism and living in the lower social class, while Celie also struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from various men in her life over the years.
The Color Purple musical film will be directed by musician and filmmaker Blitz Bazawule (Black Is King, The Burial Of Kojo) from a screenplay written by Marcus Gardley, based on the award-winning musical of the same name.
It stars Taraji P. Henson as Shrug Avery, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, Colman Domingo as Mister, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, Fantasia Barrino as Celie, Louis Gosset Jr., David Alan Grier, and Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. in her acting debut as Squeak.
Slated for a December 20, 2023 theatrical release, The Color Purple musical film will be produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, who have worked together on the 1985 film adaptation. Joining Spielberg and Winfrey as producers are Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones with Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini and Mara Jacobs serving as executive producers.