Halle Bailey and Fantasia Barrino Bring the Music to ‘The Color Purple’ in First Trailer
The Color Purple has been made and remade a number of times across many mediums since the release of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It was adapted for the big screen with Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film starring Oprah Winfrey, Akosua Busia, and Whoopi Goldberg. In 2005, an original production of the story hit Broadway. Later this year, those two interpretations will collide with Halle Bailey and Fantasia Barrino at the helm.
The 2023 edition of The Color Purple will arrive in theaters on Dec. 25 in a musical film adaptation directed by Blitz Bazawule from a screenplay by Marcus Gardley. In the first official trailer for the film, Bailey and Barrino shine not just as powerhouse vocalists, but as sisters Nettie and Celie Harris.
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Bailey, who is currently being showered in praise for her role as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, portrays the younger version of Nettie. Barrino, who starred in Broadway’s The Color Purple from 2007 to 2008, reprises her role as the older version of Celie. Ciara and Phylicia Mpasi play each character’s older and younger counterpart, respectively.
“Today, our teacher taught us about a place called Africa,” Bailey’s Nettie tells Celie. “She say our mamas come from queens over there. That means that we are royalty.” While the two young sisters bond and forge a heartfelt connection throughout the trailer, their abusive husbands and life-threatening scenarios disrupt their lives.
“Even if we have to part, you and me, us have one heart,” Nettie and Celie promise each other. Years later, still separated from one another, Celie recalls: “All I had was my sister. She was the only one ever loved me.”
The emotions of the film pour out through the brief preview of Barrino’s vocal performance, holding life, love, and loss in her voice. With Bailey on board alongside H.E.R. as Mary Agnes, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, and Tamela Mann as First Lady, the soundtrack will be as masterful a collection of work as the film itself.
Colman Domingo is also featured in the film in the leading role Albert “Mister” Johnson, Corey Hawkins as Harpo Johnson, and Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery.
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