New York: Oscar-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R is in final negotiations to make her feature film acting debut in ‘The Color Purple’ musical. She is known for her songs ‘Best Part’ and ‘Focus’.
H.E.R. will play ‘Squeak’, who, in the musical, goes from a juke joint waitress to an aspiring singer.
Warner Bros is behind the feature adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical, itself an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel by Alice Walker, on which the Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg-directed 1985 movie was also based. The story centers on a woman named Celie Harris and tracks her lifelong struggles as an African American woman living in the American South during the early 1900s.
Blitz Bazawule, the filmmaker behind the Beyoncé-fronted ‘Black Is King’, is set to direct the fresh take on the musical. Marcus Gardley penned the screenplay, adapted from Marsha Norman’s book and Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray’s score.
The movie is in pre-production with casting beginning to come together and chemistry reads happening now. Sources close to the production note that casting and creative decisions are being made to bring the story and its themes to a new generation of viewers.
Along with H.E.R. — who sources say is working with filmmakers to possibly perform a new original song for the movie musical adaptation — ‘In The Heights’ star Corey Hawkins joined the film this week, according to Billboard.com.
Oprah Winfrey, who had her feature acting debut in Spielberg’s ‘The Color Purple’ and earned an Oscar nomination, is producing via her Harpo Films banner with Spielberg under his Amblin Entertainment.
‘The Color Purple’ will be a reunion of sorts for H.E.R. and Warner Bros. During this year’s Oscar ceremony, the artiste took home the best original song award for ‘Fight For You’ featured in the studio’s ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’. H.E.R., whose real name is Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, broke out with EP H.E.R. Volume 1 and then 2017’s self-titled H.E.R., which was nominated for multiple Grammys, winning two, including best R&B album. Most recently, she released her debut full-length album ‘Back of My Mind’.
Warner has set a release date of December 20, 2023, according to Billboard.com.
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