It’s being introduced to a new generation!
The stars are reacting to being cast in the new Color Purple movie, one having an emotional moment with Oprah, EW reports.
Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” was published in 1982, Steven Spielberg directing the film adapted from Walker’s book just a short time later in 1985. Over the years, the story has continued to resonate with fans everywhere, The Color Purple musical launching on Broadway in 2005 with a critically acclaimed revival in 2015.
Now, a new Color Purple film is coming to the big screen with Oprah Winfrey, who played Sofia in the 1985 film adaptation, serving as producer alongside Spielberg, Quincy Jones and Scott Sanders. Blitz Bazawule, known for Beyoncé’s Black is King film, will serve as director.
Recently, the cast of the new film was announced, with stars everywhere reacting to the reality of landing their roles. Danielle Brooks, who will be playing Sofia, learning of her role through a surprise Zoom call with Winfrey herself. Brooks originally thought she was scheduled for a call with the director, bursting into tears when Winfrey popped up on the screen.
“I’m so happy to pass whatever baton from 35, almost 40 years ago, to you. And I know you’re going to kill it,” Winfrey told Brooks.
Winfrey then began showing Brooks a clip of her audition tape, letting her know the audition solidified her fate as Sofia. Brooks won a Tony nomination in 2016 for playing Sofia on Broadway alongside Cynthia Erivo, who won a Tony for her depiction of Celie.
“My heart is so full, thank you. And I tell you, Ms. Oprah, I did not get to thank you enough the first time. So, thank you. I’m so glad I get to tell you face-to-face thank you for the journey that you allowed me to have the first time,” Brooks told Winfrey.
The media mogul and actress said it was important for her to call Brooks to break the news because of the love she has for Sofia’s character. Winfrey’s role as Sofia was her acting debut and it earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to name her company Harpo in honor of her own name and the name of Sofia’s husband.
“I have such love for her, this character, everything she represents, and everything she brought to my life. And what I’m hoping is that she does the same thing for you,” Oprah said on the call.
Also joining the cast, Fantasia Barrino was cast as Celie, a role first played by Whoopi Goldberg, the singer sharing her excitement via social media.
Taraji P. Henson has been cast as Shug Avery, Colman Domingo as Mister, a role originally played by Danny Glover, and Halle Bailey as a young Nettie.
“I am ready for this journey to undo me. Make me learn about love again. Make me learn about hope. Make me learn about forgiveness. Make me learn about how our people have triumphed over unspeakable horrors. Mister is the trauma and the hurt. He is the broken clock weaning to be turned. I look forward to loving this cast and crew of The Color Purple Musical Film. Thank you Alice Walker,” Domingo wrote.
Production is set to begin on The Color Purple next month in Georgia.
Photo Courtesy of Ruven Afanador/Harpo Inc./Noam Gala/Getty Images