Earlier this week, fans of Taraji P. Henson rejoiced when news broke that the actress would be portraying the iconic sassy blues singer Shug Avery in Blitz Bazawule’s forthcoming film adaptation of The Color Purple.
Now the rest of the star-studded cast of the film which will be a musical has been revealed, thanks to Oprah Winfrey.
While speaking to Vanity Fair, the inimitable talk show host, who also starred as “Sofia” in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 classic of the film, spilled the beans on the rest of the cast which will now include powerhouse singer Fantasia Taylor, Colman Domingo, Danielle Brooks, Halle Bailey, Corey Hawkins, and Grammy-nominated star, H.E.R.
Winfrey told the publication that she personally “called up” Danielle Brooks to audition for the role of Sofia. Upon Brooks landing the part, the famous television producer said she grew emotional, knowing that her legendary character was in good hands.
“I didn’t think it was going to be emotional for me, but it ended up being emotional for me too!” she exclaimed. “She so wanted it. I was listening to her when we had Blitz’s assistant on, who was apologizing, saying, “So sorry that you have to do yet another audition, but something was wrong with the previous tape.” And then she goes, “I would audition as many times as I needed to because this means that much to me.”
“She thought she was going to do her final, final audition. Instead, I popped up on the screen and said, “Sofia, So-FEEE-AAHHHHH!! It’s your day!”
The Orange is The New Black alum recalled the exciting moment on her Instagram page.
“Firstly, Thank you God. Secondly, So beyond grateful to @oprah for trusting me with playing, once again, this powerhouse of a woman,” wrote Brooks. “She put her foot in that role and helped to change so many lives. I pray to do the same. The journey to getting to this moment was very humbling but I wouldn’t change it for the world!” she added.
Euphoria standout, Colman Domingo is set to take on the role of “Mister”- the abusive and menacing husband of the film’s central character “Celie.”
“I love Colman for many reasons, but also because of his prolific ability to embody any character. There’s a presence that he carries that reminded me so much of young Mister,” the 68-year-old media maven gushed. “You know, he could be Danny’s son. Just the other day I was going through the costumes for him. The hats, the vests, all that stuff. And I’m just really excited about him.”
Fantasia appeared as Celie on Broadway in 2007, blessing audience members with a stunning rendition of the musical’s classic hit “I’m Here.”
Now the R&B star will reprise her role for Bazawule’s version of The Color Purple. If you remember, Whoopi Goldberg starred as the resilient character in Spielberg’s 1985 classic.
“There is a rawness and a vulnerability to Fantasia. We all know she can sing, and she has to take on the song “I’m Here,” which is the anthem for women’s empowerment,” said Winfrey. “I think there’s no better time than this moment for it. It is an international battle cry for triumphing over adversity and empowering oneself and finding home within one’s self and one’s family. I think we’re gonna see a side of Fantasia that no one ever imagined.”
Halle Bailey has been priming her acting jobs in a number of films recently including Disney’s upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid.
Now we’ll get to see the “Ungodly Hour” hitmaker take on a more dramatic role as “Nettie”, Celie’s sister.
“She’s somebody whose presence you can feel in her absence—the memory of her, the feeling of her, the strength of her comes through, even when you’re only hearing her voice from her letters,” the OWN founder praised of Bailey’s theatrical prowess.
Additionally, The Walking Dead’s Corey Hawkins will star as Mister’s loving son “Harpo” and H.E.R. will portray, his second wife, “Squeak.”
Wow oh wow, this cast is good, and in the words of the legendary Winfrey, “This ain’t your mama’s Color Purple.”
It will also be exciting to see what kind of twist Blitz Bazawule brings to the classic movie. You might be familiar with the director’s work on films such as The Burial of Kojo and Beyoncé’s melanated visual album Black is King. Winfrey will also help to produce the new film alongside screenwriter Scott Sanders.
Will you be watching when The Color Purple debuts? Tell us down below!