Ciara is the latest star to join the cast of the star-studded Color Purple musical film, directed by Blitz Bazawule.
She joins previously cast Danielle Brooks, Fantasia Barrino, Colman Domingo, Halle Bailey, Taraji P Henson, H.E.R., and Corey Hawkins. Louis Gossett, Jr., David Alan Grier, Tamela J. Mann, Deon Cole , Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, and Stephen Hill have also been cast
Ciara will portray the adult version of Nettie, which already has Bailey portraying the younger version of the character.
The updated feature adaptation will be based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical, which is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel by Alice Walker. Marcus Gardley is penning the updated story that follows the lives of African-American women — namely Celie and Nettie Harris, Shug Avery and Miss Millie — in the American South in the 1930s. It depicts African American families and relationships in early twentieth-century Georgia.
The Color Purple musical includes jazz, ragtime, and gospel. It also included blues and African rhythms. Marsha Norman wrote that book with music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.
Steven Spielberg directed and produced the 1985-adaptation in which Oprah Winfrey, made her feature debut in the original movie. She also earned a Supporting Actress Oscar nom for her role.
Brooks and Barrino will reprise their roles as Sofia and Celie. Both Brooks and Barrino played their respective roles in the stage musical during separate runs. Barrino performed in a 2007 production while Brooks was in the 2015 revival, winning a Tony for her performance.
Louis Gossett Jr. has been cast as Ol’ Mister, David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery, and Tamela Mann as the First Lady. Phylicia Mpasi will join as Young Celie, Deon Cole as Alfonso, and Stephen Hill as Buster.
Henson will play Shug Avery, a jazz and blues singer played in Spielberg’s adaptation by Margaret Avery, and by icons including Jennifer Hudson in various adaptations for the stage.
Hawkins is playing Harpo and H.E.R. will make her acting debut as Squeak. In the musical, Squeak goes from a juke joint waitress to an aspiring singer. Rae Dawn Chong played the role in the original Spielberg feature. Domingo will play the role of Mister, originated by Danny Glover in Spielberg’s film.
Winfrey, Spielberg, and Quincy Jones, who produced the film, will all produce the upcoming Color Purple musical film. Scott Sanders will also produce the film.
EPs are Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini and Mara Jacobs.
The original Broadway musical debuted in 2005. And it received 11 Tony Award nominations in 2006 and winning for LaChanze’s role as Celie. It ran for 910 performances. A revival in 2015 scored four more Tony noms and won for Best Revival of a Musical and for Cynthia Erivo in her Broadway debut. The musical has also won Grammy and Emmy awards.