The Color Purple is an iconic film released in 1985 starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Rae Dawn Chong and Oprah Winfrey. The success of the film led to a stage musical being released in 2005, an adaptation that won multiple Tony Awards. And because the musical was a success, a film adaptation of the musical is set to be released in 2023 and will star Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson and Colman Domingo. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Domingo who talked about how the new adaption of The Color Purple will be different from the musical and the 1985 movie.
"Well, I want to quote Oprah Winfrey when she said, 'This is not your grandma's Color Purple,'" Domingo exclusively told PopCulture. "And I agree because Steven Spielberg has handed the reigns off to Blitz Bazawule, who people may know, he co-directed Beyonce's Black is King video album. And by his visual language, his storytelling, which is unique and it's threading the needle between Africa and the Americas, and it's surrealist. I think that he's really creating a really vivid portrait of The Color Purple with unpacking the characters in a unique way."
Domingo will play Mister, a role that was played by Glover in the 1985 version. The premise of The Color Purple is a story of a Black teenager struggling while living in the south in the early 1900s. Celie Harris is the main character in the story and will be played by Fantasia Barrino in the upcoming film. Goldberg played Celie in the 1985 version and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Steven Speilberg directed the 1985 film and is a producer of the new movie along with Winfrey and Quincy Jones. And as Domingo mentioned, Bazawule will direct the film.
"You're going to get more of the visual language of what may be our central character, Celie, is seeing and how she sees herself in the world," Domingo said. "And then in contrast to her reality, I think that we're going to find some more humanizing moments for Mister, the character that I'm playing, unpacking abuse. And so he's not just an abusive character, but we at least get to understand why he's an abusive character. Because that's also part of our healing, it's to understand and where it comes from, that hurt people, hurt people."
Domingo continued: "I think it'll be a hybrid of the Broadway musical and of the film in some way, shape or form. It's not necessarily just the film. It's not necessarily the musical. It's somewhere in between. I think that Blitz is creating a terrific hybrid." Filming of The Color Purple began this month in Georgia.