Aunjanue Ellis Joins Star Studded Cast Of ‘The Color Purple’ Musical Film

    The cast for The Color Purple‘s upcoming musical film keeps growing in size and talent. On Wednesday, Warner Bros. pictures announced Aunjanue Ellis as the latest actress to join the star-studded lineup. The Academy-nominated star will play the role of “Mama” Celie and Nettie’s mother in the latest adaption.

    The news comes just after cinematographer Dan Lausten announced the start of filming for the new adaptation and following the success of Ellis’s role in the highly acclaimed King Richard.

    Based on the 1982 Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple tells the story of the struggles of a Black southern woman over the course of four decades. The novel was first adapted into a film in 1985, directed by Steven Spielberg, and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards. In 2005, the book was adapted into a Tony-winning stage musical on Broadway.

    The film features an all-star cast mixed with award-winning musicians and award-winning actors in what is set to make a powerful film. R&B singer and former American Idol contestant Fantasia will play the lead role of Celie — carrying on the role she played on Broadway in 2007.

    Taraji P. Henson will play the role of Shug Avery, and Colman Domingo (Euphoria) will play Celie’s husband. H.E.R. plays the role of Squeak, Danielle Brooks will play Sofia, who Oprah Winfrey originally portrayed, and Halle Bailey will play young Nettie. Many will remember Brooks from her role as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black.

    The film is being directed by Blitz Bazawule, who has previously co-directed the Beyonce visual album Black is King streaming on DIsney+. The script has been written by Marcus Gardley (The Chi) based on Walker’s novel and Marsha Norman’s musical book.

    Winfrey will produce the film alongside Broadway producer Scott Sanders, and it seems like the two can’t wait for the new adaption. “To reinvent the movie at this time is to reinvent a phenomenon,” she told Vanity Fair in an interview. “It has been a vehicle for magic and purpose in my life.”

    In an Instagram post, Sanders claimed that the film will have “more elements of magical realism than its gritty original.” Well, that sounds intriguing. The new adaptation was first announced in 2018, but now we are one step closer to that December 20, 2023 release date.

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