H.E.R. may have grown up in Vallejo, but she will quickly find herself at home in Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter has indicated that the Academy Award winner has earned the role of Squeaky in the musical adaptation of The Color Purple. Portrayed by Rae Dawn Chong in the original film, Squeaky is a small-time waitress with aspirations of making it big as a singer.
The Color Purple musical adaptation is currently in pre-production as casting decisions and table reads kick into high gear. The Hollywood Reporter has also suggested that Warner Bros. is working with creatives to bring the themes of the 1985 film to a new “generation of viewers.” Part of this work will involve collaborating with H.E.R and Corey Hawkins to create music that fits the film and the current generation.
H.E.R is the second star to join the film this week. Multiple outlets have reported that Corey Hawkins has been tapped to play the role of Harpo, a young Black man searching for love and happiness as he redefines what masculinity means to those around him. Willard E. Pugh played the role of Harpo in the original film.
Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones, who produced the original film, will return to produce the musical adaptation. Also, Oprah Winfrey, who starred as Sofia in the original film, will return to produce the film. Rounding out the production team, In The Heights mastermind, Scott Sanders will reunite with Hawkins as a producer after the two worked together on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights. Joining Sanders, Jones, Spielberg and Winfrey, Black Is King filmmaker Blitz Bazawule will direct the film as Marcus Gardley pens the screenplay.
Warner Bros. is powering this high-profile project with hopes of releasing it in theaters on December 21, 2023.