The Color Purple adaptation is another take on a striking and powerful story that has rightfully been named on numerous lists of the most influential novels. Alice Walker was the first black woman to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction because of this book. And the first movie adaptation was a critical success that launched many black actors into the top of Hollywood circles.
But this remake is different too, because it’s coming from an adaptation of the stage musical that was made based off the book. In fact some of the actors that were part of the Tony nominated play will be reprising their roles for the film.
This book is also regularly targeted for “banning” from libraries because of it’s subject matter, making this remake an important part of keeping the story accessible to the public as it heads to theater screens.
Don’t forget to check out the masterlist of all the EWKSF adaptation posts here on Alison in Libraryland!
This page was updated: 7/30/23
About The Book:
Set in the deep American South between the wars, The Color Purple is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.
bookshop.org // Amazon // Audiobook
Current Production Status:
Post-production as of July 2022.
The Color Purple Adaptation Timeline:
The book was first released in 1982 and won the Pulitzer Prize. It was adapted to screen shortly after in 1985.
In 2005 a musical adaptation was taken to the stage, where it went to Broadway and had eleven Tony nominations.
It was announced in November 2018 that the same companies who had produced the original adaptation were developing a new film adaptation of the musical. In August 2020 the director and screenwriter were signed on. Pre-production also began and a release date for December 2023 was announced.
The first casting announcements came in August 2021 with Corey Hawkins and H.E.R. The rest of the cast was announced in Spring 2022.
Filming began March 2022 and wrapped in July. The project then moved in post-production.
First look images were released when the movie was featured as part of Warner Bros presentation at CinemaCon in April 2023.
It has been rumored that the December 2023 release date will be delayed depending on how long the SAG-AFTRA strike goes on.
Who Owns The Rights:
Warner Bros. Pictures and Amblin Entertainment own the right and are producing the remake. This is the same partnership that produced the original 1985 adaptation. Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey are signed on as executive producers. Alice Walker has also joined to be a producer.
Who Is Attached:
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey, Colman Domingo, Danielle Brooks, Aunjanue Ellis.
The project was filmed in various cities in Georgia including Atlanta, Macon, and Jekyll Island.
The Color Purple adaptation is currently scheduled for release on December 25, 2023. (potential for delay due to the SAG-AFTRA strike)
Previous mentions on AiLL:
You can find this book in 2023 Books To Screen Adaptations.
Other Adaptations From This Author:
There are no other adaptations of Alice Walker’s work.
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The Color Purple Adaptation: Everything We Know So Far
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