Fantasia, Danielle Brooks to star in ‘The Color Purple’ musical film

Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey and more round out the star-studded cast

Jared Alexander 

The Color Purple is coming back for a brand new generation. The beloved film is getting the reboot treatment, this time an adaptation of the acclaimed Broadway musical of the same name, and the full cast has been announced.

The highly anticipated film is set to hit theaters in December 2023, and while we have plenty of time before we are reintroduced to Alice Walker‘s beloved story, this week has seen multiple cast announcements from Warner Bros. Pictures.

As theGrio previously reported, Taraji P. Henson will star as Shug Avery and Corey Hawkins will appear as Harpo. Now, the main cast is officially confirmed, with Fantasia Taylor taking on the iconic role of Celie.

Taylor is no stranger to the role, having played Celie on Broadway in its original run from 2005 to 2008. Celie was originated by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1985 film adaption in what would become Goldberg’s breakout role.

Years later, Cynthia Erivo won a Tony Award for Best Actress when she played Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival. Taking on the role of Sofia is Orange is the New Black‘s Danielle Brooks, who appeared as the iconic character in the recent Broadway revival.

Both Taylor and Brooks took to social media with heartwarming posts that captured the moments they found out they’d nabbed these roles.

In Taylor’s video, her emotional response is captured as she finds out the news on the phone. She wrote in her caption, “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!”

Brooks’ post had some help from the original Sofia herself, Oprah Winfrey. While on a video call waiting to meet with the director, Brooks was surprised by Winfrey, who prompted waterworks from the actress the second she appeared.

Winfrey gushed, “I am here representing all things purple to tell you that you are our Sofia, Sofia!” She goes on to say she is “happy to pass the baton” over to Brooks after so many years.

The star-studded cast doesn’t stop there. Rounding out the ensemble is pop singer Halle Bailey, who will appear as Nettie. Bailey recently wrapped the new Disney live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid as Princess Ariel.

Bailey took to Instagram with her excitement as well, writing to her followers, “feeling oh so grateful to be apart of this historic film as nettie🥰🥰thank you God ❤️.” Another music act, singer-songwriter H.E.R. was announced as taking on the role of Squeak last year. Finally, Colman Domingo will take on the role of Mister, who Danny Glover originated in the first film.

The Color Purple will be directed by Blitz Bazawule, who co-directed Black is King. Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones, along with Scott Sanders, form the producing team. Production is set to begin in March in Atlanta.