LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – The cast of the 2023 film adaptation of “The Color Purple” said it was important to them to retell the classic story in a new way as they walked the red carpet on Monday for the London premiere.
The new musical adaptation, directed by Blitz Bazawule, is based on a script by Marcus Gardley, based on the stage musical of the same name, all of which were in turn based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel of the same name.
The 2023 version is the second film adaptation after a 1985 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, who won a Golden Globe for her performance as Seeley.
“The biggest thing for me was just making sure we can justify why we’re contributing to the canon of ‘The Color Purple,'” Bazawule told Reuters on the red carpet.
“The Color Purple” follows the story of two black American teenage sisters, Celie and Nettie, in the American South in the early 1900s.
Celie embarks on a journey to find her freedom after she and Nettie are separated from the men in their lives and must overcome years of abuse.
Bazawule, a Ghanaian director and record producer known for the movie “The Burial of Kojo,” said he wanted to present Celie as a complex character, not just someone “obedient and waiting to be rescued” as she endured abuse.
For him, this vision of Celie differs from other adaptations because it allows the audience to delve into her headspace so they can begin to understand that there was no easy way out of the abuse she experiences.
The 2023 film, which hits theaters on December 25 and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, stars Fantasia Barrino as Celie and Ciara as Nettie.
Taraji P. Henson, who plays vivacious blues singer Shug Avery, who inspires Celie to fight for her company, said she hoped she could make the crew behind the 1985 film proud – including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones.
“Now, I have to rise to the occasion. I love a good challenge,” he said.
Reporting by Natasha Mulenga in London and Danielle Broadway in Los Angeles Editing by Rosalba O’Brien
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
“Falls down a lot. Unapologetic alcohol guru. Travel specialist. Amateur beer trailblazer. Award-winning tv advocate. Hipster-friendly twitter aficionado”