With Mean Girls in cinemas and shows like Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies on our TV screens, it’s safe to say that musicals are as big as ever. So count us intrigued about a new adaptation of The Color Purple, based specifically on the stage musical version.

Landing in cinemas this Friday, it tells the story of an African American woman in the South in the 20th century. This new film is directed by Blitz Bazawule and features a cast that includes Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo and H.E.R.

What is The Color Purple about?

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple was previously adapted to screen by Steven Spielberg in the 1980s as a straightforward period drama starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, but this new version is a full-on musical. It pulls from the Broadway show that premiered in 2005, and centres around the life of Celie, a young African American woman living in the American South in the first half of the 1900s. She is born into poverty, suffers abuse from her stepfather and is pushed into an arranged marriage.

Facing prejudice and feeling lost in the world, the musical follows her as she discovers her identity and tries to build a life for herself, despite hardships and her hopes to reconnect with her lost sister. Much of the plot is the same as the novel and Spielberg film, and the legendary director serves as a producer on this new adaptation, along with Oprah herself and Quincy Jones.

Who will be cast?

Such an important and well-loved story demands a strong cast, and The Color Purple will star R&B singer Fantasia in the central role of Celie, her feature film debut. Hidden Figures and Empire star Taraji P. Henson joins her as Shug Avery, while Orange Is The New Black’s Danielle Brooks plays Sofia. Other prominent cast members include Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) as Albert Johnson, Corey Hawkins (The Tragedy of Macbeth) as Harpo Johnson and singer H.E.R. who plays Mary Agnes.

Singer-songwriter Ciara plays Nettie Harris, while The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey is the younger version of the character. It’s all being helmed by rapper Blitz Bazawule, who worked with Beyonce on the musical film Black Is King.

When will it be released?

The Color Purple is set to land in cinemas this Friday 26th January 2024. Catch the trailer below.

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