Prince film Purple Rain is headed for the stage as a musical, with Pulitzer finalist and Appropriate playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins penning the book. Adapted from Albert Magnoli and William Blinn's screenplay for the 1984 film and featuring Prince's music and lyrics, the project is being shepherded by director Lileana Blain-Cruz and producer Orin Wolf.
The film, which starred the singer-songwriter, tells an original story of an up-and-coming Minneapolis rock musician. The movie was a hit with audiences upon release, though it is the film's soundtrack—which comprises nine songs written and performed by Prince—that has been the most enduring. His work on the songs and score earned Prince Grammy and Academy Awards, and the album has since been certified 13-times Platinum. Amongst the songs included are "When Doves Cry," "The Beautiful Ones," "Baby I'm a Star," and the title song. Prince died in 2016.
"It's been almost 40 years since Prince’s legendary film, Purple Rain, took the world by storm and we can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to honor Prince and the Purple Rain legacy with this stage adaptation of the beloved story," says NorthStar Group Chairman L Londell McMillan and Primary Wave Music Founder and CEO Larry Mestel in a joint statement. “We are thrilled with our Broadway partners and creative team, who are bringing a theatricality to the film’s original fictional story. We can’t wait for a new generation to discover Purple Rain and for lovers of the original film and album to experience its power once again, this time live."
No development timeline nor casting has been revealed. The project's website URL, PurpleRainBroadway.com, indicates that producers are aiming for the Main Stem.
Jacobs-Jenkins previously contributed new material to Lincoln Center Theater's 2022 Broadway revival of The Skin of Our Teeth, also directed by Blain-Cruz. He's currently making his Broadway debut with Appropriate, running at The Hayes Theater via Second Stage and starring Sarah Paulson. His earlier works include The Comeuppance, Girls, Everybody, Gloria, and An Octoroon.