Tony winner David Alan Grier stopped by The Talk September 30 and talked about his work on the upcoming screen adaptation of Broadway's The Color Purple, which, according to the A Soldier's Tale star, will include new songs written by composers new to the project.
Grier shared the news while talking about the musical numbers he performs as Reverend Avery, a character new for the musical's screen adaptation. "I have a big singing number that the entire company does," he shares. "What [the producers] did is they brought in some young, contemporary composers who composed additional music to the musical. ... They wanted to expand it, also bring in a younger audience. I thought it was a great choice."
Watch Grier talk about his experience on set above.
The Color Purple will be led by Broadway Color Purple alums Fantasia Barrino as Celie and Danielle Brooks as Sophia, along with Grammy winners Jon Batiste as Grady and Ciara as Adult Nettie, Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, H.E.R. as Squeak, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, Tony nominee Colman Domingo as Mister, Aunjanue Ellis as Celie and Nettie's mother, Elizabeth Marvel as Miss Millie, Louis Gossett, Jr. as Ol' Mister, Broadway Lion King alum Phylicia Mpasi as Young Celie, Tamela Mann as First Lady, Deon Cole as Alfonso, Stephen Hill as Buster, Terrence J. Smith as Adam, Tiffany Elle Burgess as Olivia, and Aba Arthur as Abena.
The film is currently expected to release December 2023.
Blitz Bazawule, who co-helmed Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King, is directing, with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, and Steven Spielberg serving as producers. Marcus Gardley has penned the screenplay, adapted from Marsha Norman’s stage book and Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray’s score. The stage musical was adapted from Walker's 1982 Pulitzer-winning novel and its 1985 film adaptation.
The Color Purple debuted on Broadway in 2005, winning original Celie LaChanze a Tony Award for her performance. A 2015 revival helmed by John Doyle earned its Celie, Cynthia Erivo, a Tony Award before propelling her to Hollywood stardom. Brooks co-starred with Erivo as Sophia, the role she will reprise in the upcoming movie musical.