A movie musical version of “The Color Purple” starring Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks will begin production in Atlanta later this month.
The movie is set to shoot from March 21 to June 17, according to productionlist.com.
It’s a film adaptation of the 2005 Broadway musical, which itself was adapted from the 1982 Alice Walker novel and the 1985 movie. In 1983, Eatonton-born Walker became the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction for the novel.
Barrino, who won “American Idol” in 2004, played Celie Harris in a stage production of “The Color Purple” on Broadway in 2007 and in a national stage version that came to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in 2009. Brooks (”Orange is the New Black”) played Sofia in the 2015 revival, winning a Tony.
Celie begins the musical as meek but grows in strength as she suffers from racism, sexism, incest and domestic abuse in the early 1900s. He signature tune when she espouses her independence from an abusive husband is “I’m Here.”
Oprah Winfrey, who portrayed Sofia in the original film, is one of the film’s executive producers.
During an ABC special “Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queens Rising” earlier this month, Winfrey told Brooks: “I am here representing all things purple to tell you that you are our Sofia. I’m so happy to pass whatever baton from 35 — almost 40 — years ago to you. And I know you’re gonna kill it.”
Other cast members include Taraji P. Henson as jazz singer Shug Avery, H.E.R. as Squeak and Corey Hawkins as Harpo.
Steven Spielberg, who directed the 1985 version, and Quincy Jones, who was a producer, are also executive producers of this version.
The 1985 film was a critical and commercial hit, grossing $142 million worldwide and earning 11 Oscar nominations.
This new version has a scheduled release date in theaters of Dec. 23, 2023.