The classic and beloved 1985 film The Color Purple is coming back with a fresh cast and a fresh twist that features some of our favorite actors. The upcoming film will be adapted from the Tony award-winning Broadway musical, so expect to see some singing, dancing as well as some good ol’ acting. The final cast was revealed today and it stars Fantasia Taylor, Colman Domingo, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Halle Bailey, Corey Hawkins, and H.E.R.
Fantasia and Danielle both starred in the musical at different times, Fantasia in 2007 and Danielle in 2016, and are reprising their roles with Fantasia as Celie and Danielle as Sofia. The Color Purple film and musical all derived from the 1982 novel by Alice Walker with the same name. The book focuses on Black women in the rural and racist south dealing with traumas that were forced upon them by the men in their lives and society.
Oprah, who is co-producing the film with Scott Sanders, spoke with Vanity Fairabout casting Fantasia in the iconic role that Whoopi Goldberg played. “There is a rawness and a vulnerability to Fantasia,” Oprah said.
“We all know she can sing, and she has to take on the song 'I’m Here,' which is the anthem for women’s empowerment. I think there’s no better time than this moment for it. It is an international battle cry for triumphing over adversity and empowering oneself and finding home within one’s self and one’s family. I think we’re gonna see a side of Fantasia that no one ever imagined.”
The “Free Yourself” singer shared a video on Instagram about the moment she found out she won the part of Celie. She captioned the video,
“As I sit tonight and reflect on the journey my life has taken I believe I now understand what Redemption truly feels like,” she wrote. “The last time I stepped into this character, the similarities between what I portrayed on stage and what I experienced in my own reality were too close for comfort. I’ve learned since then that my pain was only an introduction to a greater purpose of meaning and assignment.”
“I hope that every little black girl who is fighting to be heard and recognized also promises to never give up in spite of the costs. Now everyone who has been wondering why I’ve been missing and so quiet can see that I’ve been dedicating all of my time to All Things Purple! (Matthew 20:16)”
Oprah surprised Danielle, who played Oprah’s character Sofia in the musical that earned her a Tony nomination in 2016 and Oprah an Oscar nomination in 1985, with the news that she will be reprising the role in the film. "I am here representing all things purple to tell you that you are our Sofia," said Oprah in the clip, which made Danielle burst into tears.
JUST IN: @TasiasWord and @thedanieb will join the cast of @WBPictures' #TheColorPurple alongside @tarajiphenson, @HERMusicx, and Corey Hawkins!— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 4, 2022
Thanks for helping with the reveal on #SoulOfANation@oprah! https://t.co/cmCYuBDn39pic.twitter.com/HwpR39d5WE
Reflecting on that moment with Vanity Fair, Oprah said, “You know, I didn’t think it was going to be emotional for me, but it ended up being emotional for me too! She so wanted it. I was listening to her when we had Blitz’s assistant on, who was apologizing, saying, 'So sorry that you have to do yet another audition, but something was wrong with the previous tape.' And then she goes, 'I would audition as many times as I needed to because this means that much to me.' And then I popped up: 'Sofia, SO-FEEE-AAHHH!'”
Rounding out the cast, Colman will play Mister, Taraji will play Shug Avery, Halle will play Nettie, Corey will play Harpo and H.E.R. will play Squeak.
Featured image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images