With musicals now back in fashion, Warner Bros. has made their choice as to what their next big song and dance project will be. Per Collider, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Broadway veteran Scott Sanders are all set to produce a new film version of The Color Purple; this time an adaptation of the acclaimed musical.
The original book was published in 1982 and written by Alice Walker, going on to win her a Pulitzer Prize, making her the first black woman to win a Pulitzer for fiction. Spielberg famously directed the 1985 film version, which Winfrey played a supporting role in, which led to a Broadway run that began in 2005, and earned 11 Tony nominations in 2006.
A Broadway revival opened in 2015, snagging some more Tony noms, and ran until 2017. Overall the musical has grossed more than $350 million, with half of that figure coming from black audiences.
The Color Purple follows Celie, an African-American woman living in the deep south from the early to mid-20th century. She struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her stepfather, husband, and others over the course of many decades. The 1985 film starred Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery and Winfrey, with all three actresses earning Oscar nominations for their work.
The film also received a Best Picture nomination, as well as a pair of nominations for Jones for Original Score and Original Song.
The project is in the very early stages of development right now, with no writer attached. It’s unclear if Cynthia Erivo, the Tony award-winning star of the recent Broadway revival who also just appeared in Bad Times At The El Royale, will reprise her role on the big screen or not.
All is really known right now is that Spielberg, Winfrey, Jones, and Sanders have their full force behind the project. We’ll likely hear more in the coming months regarding casting, directing and whatnot.