The film, based on the 2005 Broadway adaptation, will mark the artist’s acting debut.
Grammy-winning Jon Batiste, best known as bandleader and musical director of Stay Human for The Late Show with Stephen Colbertwill make his acting debut in the upcoming musical The purple coloraccording to Rolling Stone.
Batiste was cast as Grady, a womanizer married to singer Shug Avery, who will be portrayed by Taraji P. Henson.
Batiste will join the previously announced Purple color stage alumni Fantasia Barrino as Celie and Danielle Brooks as Sophia, Grammy winner Ciara as Adult Nettie, Henson as Shug Avery, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, HER as Squeak, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, nominee Tony Colman Domingo as Mister, 2020 Tony winner David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery, Aunjanue Ellis as Celie and Nettie’s mother, Elizabeth Marvel as Miss Millie, Louis Gossett, Jr. as Ol’ Mister, Broadway Lion King alum Phylicia Mpasi as Young Celie, Tamela Mann as First Lady, Deon Cole as Alfonso, and Stephen Hill as Buster.
Blitz Bazawule, who co-directed Beyoncé’s visual album Black is king will direct, with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders and Steven Spielberg serving as producers. Marcus Gardley will write the screenplay, adapted from Marsha Norman’s stage book and score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. The musical was adapted from Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer-winning novel and its 1985 film adaptation.
The purple color made her Broadway debut in 2005, winning the original Celie LaChanze a Tony Award for her performance. A 2015 revival directed by John Doyle won its Celie, Cynthia Erivo, a Tony Award before propelling her to Hollywood stardom. Brooks co-starred with Erivo as Sophia, the role she will reprise in the upcoming musical.