Theatre News

Taraji P Henson cast in The Color Purple film

The film is released next year

Taraji P Henson
Taraji P Henson
© Tristan Fuge

Fresh off her turn as Miss Hannigan in Annie Live, Taraji P. Henson will star as Shug Avery in the movie musical adaptation of The Color Purple. This is according to Variety, who broke the story.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 2005 and features a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. It is set to embark on its first tour of English and Welsh venues from September.

Based on the novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a young black woman living in rural Georgia who becomes estranged from her beloved sister, is forcibly wed to an older widower, and becomes smitten with Shug Avery — all in the first act.

Henson received a 2009 Oscar nomination for her performance in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She has also received three primetime Emmy nominations, including two for her performance as Cookie Lyon on Empire.

in The Color Purple, Henson will play the role of Shug Avery, a juke joint singer and arguably one of the romantic leads of the story.

The property was first adapted for the screen in 1985 under the direction by Steven Spielberg. He produces this musical remake, alongside Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones. Marcus Gardley has penned the screenplay and Blitz Bazawule will direct.

As previously reported, Corey Hawkins will play the role of Harpo. Casting of the lead role of Celie has not yet been announced.

The Color Purple is set to hit cinemas on 20 December 2023.

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