1985's The Color Purple was a landmark moment in the careers of a lot of very famous people: For director Steven Spielberg, it represented (actual merits of the film aside) his first big movement away from popcorn blockbusters, and into something more serious and “mature.” For comedian Whoopi Goldberg, it made the world sit up and take notice of her gifts as a dramatic actor. Ditto talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who scored an Oscar nomination for what was then her very first credited acting performance.
Now, The Color Purple is coming back to theaters, but with a twist: Rather than a straight remake of Spielberg’s film, THR reports that this new version will be an adaptation of the Winfrey-produced stage musical that first ran on Broadway in 2005. Like the film, the Tony-winning musical is based off of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, about a group of black women banding together to survive the horrors of life (and men) in early 20th century America.
Winfrey is producing the film, along with Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones, who got his own Oscar nomination for the original film’s score. The recent revival production of the musical pulled down most of an EGOT all on its own last year, winning an Emmy (for a Today show appearance by the cast), a Grammy, and multiple Tonys; given the pedigree of the project, an Oscar nomination for the film version isn’t hard to imagine, too, although no director or cast has yet to be set.