The upcoming movie musical adaptation of The Color Purple has added three more to its cast, led by Broadway Color Purple alums Fantasia Barrino as Celie and Danielle Brooks as Sophia.
Newly joining the cast are Terrence J. Smith as Celie's son, Adam; Tiffany Elle Burgess as Celie's daugher, Olivia; and Aba Arthur as Abena, a role not featured in the musical's stage version. The news was first reported by BlackFilmandTV.com.
Smith recently made his film debut in 2021's The Tomorrow War and also has stage appearances in productions of A Raisin in the Sun and Hair on his resumé. Arthur is also a stage vet, having appeared in productions of Proof and for colored girls... along with the film 8 and the ABC series Queens. Burgess' credits include the reboot of The Wonder Years and the short film Glitter Ain't Gold. She is also the author of the children's book Skin Like Mine.
They join a previously announced cast that includes, along with Barrino and Brooks, Grammy winners Jon Batiste as Grady and Ciara as Adult Nettie, Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, H.E.R. as Squeak, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, Tony nominee Colman Domingo as Mister, 2020 Tony winner David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery, Aunjanue Ellis as Celie and Nettie's mother, Elizabeth Marvel as Miss Millie, Louis Gossett, Jr. as Ol' Mister, Broadway Lion King alum Phylicia Mpasi as Young Celie, Tamela Mann as First Lady, Deon Cole as Alfonso, and Stephen Hill as Buster.
Blitz Bazawule, who co-helmed Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King, will direct, with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, and Steven Spielberg serving as producers. Marcus Gardley will write the screenplay, adapted from Marsha Norman’s stage book and Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray’s score. The stage musical was adapted from Walker's 1982 Pulitzer-winning novel and its 1985 film adaptation.
The Color Purple debuted on Broadway in 2005, winning original Celie LaChanze a Tony Award for her performance. A 2015 revival helmed by John Doyle earned its Celie, Cynthia Erivo, a Tony Award before propelling her to Hollywood stardom. Brooks co-starred with Erivo as Sophia, the role she will reprise in the upcoming movie musical.
The film is currently expected to release December 2023.