Ciara is the latest music icon to join the cast of the Warner Bros. movie musical remake of “The Color Purple,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
Ciara will portray the adult version of Nettie, which already has Halle Bailey (“The Little Mermaid”) portraying the younger version of the character. She joins a cast that already includes Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Louis Gosset Jr. H.E.R., David Alan Grier and Fantasia Barrino.
Blitz Bazawule is directing “The Color Purple,” which is currently set for release by Warner Bros. on December 20, 2023. Production is set to begin this month in Georgia.
Bazawule is best known as the director of Beyoncé’s “Black Is King,” and he’ll direct from a script by Marcus Gardley (“The Chi”). “The Color Purple” also has a book by Marsha Norman and music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, and the musical was a hit for its joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, blues and African rhythms.
“The Color Purple” originated as Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel from 1982, which was later adapted into Steven Spielberg’s Best Picture-nominated film from 1985 and then again into a musical on Broadway from 2005. Spielberg’s film was nominated for 11 Oscars and was the feature film debut for Whoopi Goldberg, and also featured Oprah Winfrey in a breakout role. The musical from 2005 likewise earned 11 Tony nominations and was revived again in 2016, which netted two Tonys and grossed $350 million.
The story centers on a Black woman named Celie, who grows up in intense poverty in the American South and endures harsh treatment from her stepfather, husband and others in her life, which tests her faith in God and humankind.
“The Color Purple” is produced by Spielberg, Winfrey, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones, and it is executive produced by Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Mara Jacobs, Carla Gardini, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Adam Fell.
Ciara has put out seven albums and is known for songs such as “Goodies” and “Level Up.” As an actress however, she starred most recently in 2012’s “That’s My Boy” with Adam Sandler, and she also starred in MTV’s “All You’ve Got” from 2004 and the musical “Mama, I Want to Sing.”
Entertainment Weekly first reported the news.