Jon Batiste to debut in The Color Purple – The Hollywood Reporter

After winning the top prize at this year’s Grammys, Jon Batiste is set to make his acting debut in The Color Purple.

Warner Bros. is behind the feature film adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical, itself an adaptation of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, and on which the 1985 film was based directed by Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg. The story centers on a woman named Celie Harris and traces her lifelong struggles as an African American woman living in the South in the early 1900s.

Batiste will play Grady, the husband of Shug Avery (played by Taraji P. Henson), a sweet-talking pianist.

Batiste would join a previously reported cast of Henson, Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, HER and others.

Blitz Bazawule, the filmmaker behind Beyoncé black is king, is set to direct the new version of the musical. Marcus Gardley wrote the screenplay, adapted from the book by Marsha Norman and the score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. The movie is in pre-production, the cast is starting to come together, and the chemistry is reading now.

Winfrey, who made her acting debut in Spielberg’s film The purple color and earned an Oscar nomination, produced through its Harpo Films banner along with Spielberg and its Amblin Entertainment. Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones, both behind the Broadway musical, will also produce. Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini, Adam Fell and Mara Jacobs serve as executive producers.

Warners has set a release date for December 20, 2023.

Batiste, who is replaced by CAA and Eisner, is the conductor and musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He won five Grammys at the 2022 awards show with his latest studio album, We are, winning album of the year. He has already won an Oscar for best original score for the Pixar film Soul.

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