H.E.R. is set to make her film acting debut in Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical “The Color Purple,” an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.
The musical, of course, is based on the 1982 novel by Alice Walker, and Steven Spielberg directed the 1985 adaptation, starring Whoop Goldberg. It received 11 Oscar nominations, including best actress for Goldberg, but was shut out.
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. Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, becoming the first black woman to do so. H.E.R. will play a character named Squeak, a woman who goes from waitress to singer.
Blitz Bazawule, who most recently directed Beyoncé’s Disney+ visual album “Black Is King, is directing. Marcus Gardley wrote the screenplay.
The 2005 Broadway musical, with a book by playwright Marsha Norman, earned 11 Tony nominations but didn’t win best musical. The 2016 revival won two Tonys, including best musical revival, as well as both a Grammy and an Emmy. The musical has grossed more than $350 million.
Oprah Winfrey is set to produce with her Harpo Films banner, with Spielberg through his Amblin banner. Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones are also producing, while Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini, and Mara Jacobs are executive producing.
Warner Bros. will release the film on Dec. 20, 2023.
H.E.R. most recently won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Fight For You,” which was featured in the studio’s “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Her 2017 self-titled album “H.E.R.” was nominated for multiple Grammys and even won two. She recently released her debut full-length album “Back of My Mind.” In 2021, she was awarded the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for “I Can’t Breathe.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.