The Color Purple is one step closer to singing out on screen. Blitz Bazawule, following his success with Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King, has signed on to direct the film adaptation of the Broadway musical.
As previously reported, the Warner Bros. project features the musical’s original producing team: Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, and Scott Sanders; joining the trio is Steven Spielberg (who helmed the 1985 movie based on Alice Walker’s novel). According to Deadline, Marcus Gardley will pen the screenplay, working off of Marsha Norman’s book and Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray’s score.
In addition to Black Is King on Disney+ (which he co-directed with Beyoncé and Emmanuel Adjei), Ghanaian native Bazawule’s credits include the 2018 drama The Burial of Kojo, as well as the studio albums Stereotype, Native Sun, Afropolitan Dreams, and Diasporadical.
No word yet on casting or a production timeline.
After premiering in 2005 and running for a little over two years, the musical made waves on Broadway once again with a popular 2015 staging. Both LaChanze and Cynthia Erivo earned Tony Awards for their performances as Celie (in the original and revival, respectively).