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Producer Oprah Winfrey introduced the first trailer for Warner Bros.’ The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker’s book and the musical adaptation of the novel.
Presenting this “celebration of sisterhood” billed as “not your mama’s Color Purple,” she asserted Tuesday at CinemaCon that The Color Purple “can only be experienced on the big screen” and committed to help to “get the groups in the seats. There’s coming” when the movie opens on Dec. 25. She described the project as having “magicial realism. wholesome family goodness” and and amazing cast.
Winfrey was joined on stage by director Blitz Bazawule and stars Fantasia Taylor (who plays Celie), Taraji P. Henson (Shug) and Danielle Brooks (Sophia).
“I started this journey with the upmost respect for you and Alice Walker,” Bazawule told Winfrey, adding “at it’s core it’s about finding your voice, you family and breaking through obstacles that try to hold you down.”
Taylor and Brooks reprise the roles they played in the stage musical in their feature debuts. “You will be healed, because I was healed,” Taylor said of the story, recalling the decision to step back into the role, supported by Bazawule and the cast.
“This is a fibre of the community,” Henson said of the material. The cast also discussed the songs, particularly the empowering “Hell No” and “I’m Here.”
Winfrey was Oscar-nominated for best supporting for her role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 adaptation of the novel, which was nominated for five Academy Awards including best picture. She produced this new film alongside Spielberg, Quincy Jones and the stage musical’s Scott Sanders.
The cast also includes Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Halle Bailey, H.E.R., Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Ciara, Deon Cole, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Tamela J. Mann, Stephen Hill.
Set in the South during the early 1900s, The Color Purple was lensed in the Atlanta area by two-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Dan Laustsen (who also recently shot John Wick: Chapter 4) and production designed by Oscar winner Paul D. Austerberry (The Shape of Water).
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