Fantasia Barrino is reportedly in final negotiations to play Celie in a movie musical of the movie adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel, “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker.
Barrino played the role on stage on Broadway in 2007. The singer received critical acclaim for her stage portrayal.
“If you really put yourself in her shoes, that can be very tiring,” Barrino told Playbill.com at the time. “It can take a lot of energy out of you. I know when I get off the stage at night from shows, I’m exhausted. I run to my room, and I fall on the couch, and I have to take at least about ten minutes to wind down and to get my thoughts together and come out of the part of Celie.”
Whoopi Goldberg played the role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 version movie.
“Orange Is The New Black,” star Danielle Brooks also signed onto the project as Sofia. The news was announced during ABC’s “Soul of a Nation,” special, “Screen Queens Rising.”
“I am here representing all things purple to tell you that you are our Sofia,” Oprah Winfrey told Brooks. “I’m so happy to pass whatever baton from 35—almost 40—years ago to you. And I know you’re gonna kill it.”
“My heart is so full,” an emotional Brooks replied. “I’m going to make you so proud.”
“You already have,” Winfrey responded. “I wanted to be the one to tell you because you know I have such love for her, this character, everything she represents and everything she brought to my life. And what I’m hoping is that she does the same thing for you.”
Taraji P. Henson, Corey Hawkins and H.E.R., have all been named as cast members.
The musical will be directed by Blitz Bazawule, the filmmaker behind the Beyoncé’s “Black Is King.”
Warner Bros. has set a release date of Dec. 20, 2023.