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Blitz Bazawule to Direct The Color Purple Musical Film

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Blitz Bazawule is going from black to purple.

Fresh off co-directing the visually enticing Beyonce-led film, Black is King. Blitz Bazawule to helm The Color Purple musical film.

Marcus Gardley is penning the Warner Bros. movie based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical which is a reimagining of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel.

The story 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 musical, includes jazz, ragtime, gospel, blues, and African rhythms. Marsha Norman wrote that book with music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.

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Oprah Winfrey, who starred in the 1985 film, Steven Spielberg, who directed and produced the film, and Quincy Jones, who produced the film, will all produce the upcoming Color Purple musical film. Scott Sanders will also produce the film.

The aforementioned saw Bazawule’s Netflilx film, The Burial Of Kojo, and were impressed by his visual style and were thrilled to join this new project.

“We, were all blown away by Blitz’s unique vision as a director and look forward to seeing how he brings the next evolution of this beloved story to life,” Winfrey told Deadline.

The 1985 film racked up 11-time Oscar-nominations. It served as Winfrey’s feature film debut and earning her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.

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EPs are Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini and Mara Jacobs.

The original Broadway musical debuted in 2005, scoring 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.

Along with filmmaking, Bazawule is also a composer and musician of four studio albums. His albums include Stereotype (2009), Native Sun (2011), Afropolitan Dreams (2014) and Diasporadical (2016). His musicality impressed the producers of The Color Purple as well, considering he will be taking on a musical genre.

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