What is The Color Purple Release Date, Cast, Plot, Trailer and More

The Highly Anticipated Musical Adaptation Arrives This Holiday Season

The Color Purple is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, and Alice Walker. It is a film adaptation of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker and the second film adaptation overall following the 1985 film. The new adaptation will reimagine the beloved story as a musical. With an all-star cast and creative team, The Color Purple musical promises to be one of the most anticipated films this holiday season.

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Release Date

The Color Purple is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 25, 2023 in the United States1 2 3 5. Following the US release, the film will premiere in the UK and Ireland a month later on January 26, 20243 4. The Christmas release date positions The Color Purple as a major contender for the 2023 awards season.

Originally, the film was slated for release on December 20, 20231. However, the date was pushed back by 5 days to December 25 fairly early in pre-production. The new December 25 slot allows the film to open on a holiday when potential moviegoing audiences are largest.


The Color Purple has assembled an all-star cast to bring the musical adaptation to life, led by Fantasia Barrino as the adult Celie. Fantasia first took on the iconic role of Celie in the 2007 Broadway production of The Color Purple musical. Her moving performance earned her a Theater World Award. Now Fantasia revisits the character for the 2023 movie musical6.

Joining Fantasia is Halle Bailey as young Nettie, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as young Celie, Colman Domingo as Mister, Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, and Danielle Brooks as Sofia5.

Halle Bailey is best known as one half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle. This will mark her major feature film debut as a lead. Phylicia Pearl Mpasi previously starred in the 2020 remake of The Witches. Colman Domingo is coming off an Emmy nominated performance in Euphoria as Ali. Taraji P. Henson received an Oscar nomination for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And Danielle Brooks was a standout on Orange Is the New Black.

The Color Purple

Fantasia, Phylicia Mpasi, Colman Domingo, Taraji P. Henson, Corey Hawkins, Danielle Brooks, H.E.R, Ciara, Halle Bailey, Louis Gossett Jr, David Alan Grier, Aunjanue Ellis, Tamela J. Mann, Deon Cole, Stephen Hill, Elizabeth Marvel, Jon Batiste
Release Date
25 December 2023
Drama, Musical
Director Blitz Bazawule

Additional cast members including Corey Hawkins, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, and H.E.R. are also expected to star1. But their roles have not yet been announced. With this incredible line-up of talent, The Color Purple promises powerful performances and beautiful harmonies.


The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a young African American girl living in rural Georgia in the early 1900s2 4. The novel and original 1985 film adaptation follow Celie throughout her life as she struggles through abuse, racism, sexism, and more. By the end, Celie has come into her own as an independent, empowered woman.

While the core story remains the same, the 2023 remake will reimagine Celie’s journey through song and dance as a movie musical. Director Blitz Bazawule has said the musical performances will be integrated seamlessly into the film to serve the storytelling2. The songs expand upon and elevate the emotions expressed in the novel.

Some of the musical numbers will be taken from the Tony-winning Broadway production. The play featured a blues, jazz, and ragtime influenced score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray that earned widespread acclaim2. Additional new music for the film is composed by Branford Marsalis.


The first teaser trailer for The Color Purple dropped on May 22, 20236. The one-minute trailer offers a preview of the film’s stunning visuals and soaring music.

It opens on a river baptism scene, with Celie and other women dressed in vibrant purple dresses. Next we see a quick montage of various scenes, while Fantasia’s powerful vocals play over the visuals. There are glimpses of Halle Bailey as young Nettie, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as young Celie, Sofia and her children, and Shug Avery backlit by sunshine beaming through a window6.

The trailer shows off the movie’s period costuming and rural southern settings. In an interview, costume designer Ruth E. Carter said she took inspiration from old photographs to capture the early 1900s styles authentically5. The sets and environments also transport viewers to the rural south during the early 20th century.

Overall the first trailer establishes the musical as an uplifting story brimming with resilience. It aims to captivate audiences with stunning visuals and Fantasia’s unmatched vocals.

What to Expect from the Musical Remake

While it remains to be seen whether the 2023 adaptation will become an instant classic like its source material and the 1985 original, expectations are high based on the talent involved.

Director Blitz Bazawule earned rave reviews for his work on Beyoncé’s Black Is King visual album. Bazawule brings extensive musical experience to The Color Purple as he translates the story into a movie musical for the first time.

The all-black cast contains some of the most acclaimed actors and vocalists working today. Powerhouse vocals from Fantasia, H.E.R. and Halle Bailey will bring the inspiring musical numbers to soaring heights.

With production designer Bruce Rodgers and cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler also onboard, the visuals are sure to impress. And the story itself remains culturally significant and emotionally resonant.

While staying true to its roots, Blitz Bazawule aims to create something new with his movie musical version of the classic American tale. When asked about differentiating the 2023 film from past adaptations, Bazawule responded, “It was about figuring out cinematically what feels like a different perspective on such a beloved, revered work”2. Based on the trailers and clips previewed so far, Bazawule looks to be succeeding in developing a fresh take.

Release Date and Awards Season Positioning

With the film set for a prime holiday release date, The Color Purple appears primed for awards season recognition. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983. The original 1985 film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. And the Broadway musical won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 2016.

With this pedigree, the 2023 remake has already generated early Oscar buzz, particularly for the lead actress contenders Taraji P. Henson and Fantasia Barrino. If the new adaptation delivers on its promise, The Color Purple could once again be a major player this awards season. The December 25 release date puts in right in the thick of contention.


The Color Purple musical promises to enchant audiences this holiday season with its inspirational story portrayed through show-stopping musical numbers. Led by an incredibly talented all-black cast, the remake aims to reimagine an American classic for a new generation. The Christmas release date positions the film for potential awards season glory. With acclaimed director Blitz Bazawule at the helm, all signs point to The Color Purple living up to its lofty expectations when it finally hits theaters on December 25, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Who is directing The Color Purple?

The Color Purple is being directed by Blitz Bazawule, known for Beyonce’s Black Is King.

Q2: Is this a sequel to the 1985 film?

No, this will be another adaptation of the original Alice Walker novel, but told through music as a movie musical.

Q3: What broadway songs will be included?

The film will feature some songs from the Tony-winning broadway musical version of The Color Purple, including “I’m Here.”

Q4: Who wrote the original Color Purple novel?

The Color Purple was originally written as a novel by Alice Walker. It was published in 1982 and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Q5: Wasn’t this already adapted into a musical?

Yes, The Color Purple was adapted into a successful Broadway musical in 2005. This new film will adapt elements of that musical version.

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