The Color Purple, Alice Walker’s National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, was published in 1982. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking coming-of-age story about a Black woman in the rural South of the early 1900s.
In 1985, Steven Spielberg directed Oprah Winfrey, Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Margaret Avery in a film version that was nominated for 11 Oscars, a BAFTA, and 5 Golden Globes — with Whoopie Goldberg winning for Best Actress. It also won a couple of NAACP Image Awards.
In 2005, Marsha Norman wrote a play based on the movie with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. It was nominated for a boatload of Tonys in 2006 and then won them all for its revival in 2016.
Now, to complete the cycle, a movie has been created based on the musical. Technically, someone has to write a book about the making of the movie musical to really complete the cycle. Just give it a minute.
This version is directed by Blitz Bazawule and stars Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), Danielle Brooks (Peacemaker), Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead), Corey Hawkins (In the Heights), H.E.R. (Judas and the Black Messiah), Halle Bailey (The Little Mermaid), Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (King Richard), and American Idol’s season three winner Fantasia Barrino.
Fantasia played the role of Celie in the 2006 Broadway production of The Color Purple and reprises that role in the new film.
The Color Purple opens in theaters on Christmas Day, December 25.
And here’s a little video of Oprah and the stars, wrapped in lux bathrobes, watching this preview for the first time.