Oprah Winfrey just announced the cast for the new musical film rendition of The Color Purple, and to say it is brimming with talent would be an understatement. It is being produced by a slew of creatives who were involved in past iterations of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel. The producing line-up includes Winfrey, who starred as Sofia in the 1985 film, Steven Spielberg, who directed the first film, Scott Sanders, who produced the 2005 Broadway musical, and Quincy Jones, who composed and produced the ’85 film.
For the new project, they tapped Danielle Brooks, Fantasia Barrino, Colman Domingo, Halle Bailey, Taraji P. Henson, Corey Hawkins, and H.E.R. to star in the new adaptation.
Chronicling the lives of Black women in the deep south in Georgia circa 1909 through 1947, The Color Purple has received rave reviews and critical acclaim since its inception. The film garnered 11 Academy Award nominations and earned lead actress Whoopi Goldberg a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for her role as Celie. The Broadway musical also picked up two Tony Awards throughout its tenure. Slated to be released in 2023, the upcoming musical is sure to be another hit.
Below, meet the cast for the new film.
Fantasia Barrino as Celie
With the Broadway production running from 2005 to 2008, and then revived in 2015 through 2017, American Idol‘s Fantasia Barrino played the lead, Celie from 2007-2008. Barrino will be reprising her role for the new film.
Colman Domingo as Mister
Known for his beloved character Ali on Euphoria, Colman Domingo packs a punch with his extensive and impressive acting résumé. Starring in Fear of The Walking Dead, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Zola, and If Beale Street Could Talk, Domingo is now taking on the role of Celie’s abusive husband Mister. Portrayed by Danny Glover in the Spielberg film, Domingo may have a big job ahead of him, but he’s up for the task. The actor took to Instagram Friday writing, “I am ready for this journey to undo me. Mister is the trauma and the hurt. He is the broken clock waiting to be turned.”
Halle Bailey as Nettie
One half of the singing sister duo Chloe x Halle, Halle Bailey is quickly making a name for herself as an actress. The rising star is about to make her acting debut in Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Taking on the role of Nettie, Bailey will portray Celie’s sister who runs away after Mister (Colman Domingo) attacks her. Corresponding throughout the story through letters, her character’s presence is poignantly felt. Expressing her excitement on Instagram, Bailey wrote, “feeling oh so grateful to be apart of this historic film as nettie🥰🥰thank you God ❤️.”
Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery
Chosen for her innate wisdom and sexual chemistry, Taraji P. Henson is the perfect fit as the sensual blues singer who, through encouragement turns into a mentor for Celie. The Hidden Figures actress took to Instagram to announce her upcoming role. “That’s ⭐️ Shug Avery ⭐️ to you. I am beyond THRILLED to share this news with you I’ve been dying to tell y’all!!! I’m so honored to play this iconic role and I can’t wait to share more, very soon🤞🏾!! Catch yours truly in Blitz Bazawule’s #TheColorPurple next year 🎬💜.”
Corey Hawkins as Harpo
Having worked with producer Scott Sanders in 2021’s In The Heights, Corey Hawkins is set to play the role of Mister’s son Harpo. Sweet, and good at heart, the character is the antithesis to his father. Most recently starring in the The Tragedy of Macbeth, Hawkins is adding to his impressive résumé.
H.E.R. as Squeak
Taking on the role of Harpo’s second wife Squeak, musician H.E.R. will play the soft-spoken character who transforms into someone with more autonomy and control throughout the film. H.E.R. actually moved her concert schedule around in order to be apart of the film.
Danielle Brooks as Sofia
Last but certainly not least, Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks is set to reprise her Tony Award-winning role as Sofia, whom she played in the 2015 Broadway revival. Winfrey also starred in the same role in the 1985 film (which also marked her acting debut). The talk show legend passed the baton to Brooks in an emotional virtual chat, which Brooks shared on Instagram.