Alice Walker’s The Color Purple has been a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, an Oscar award-nominated drama, and a Tony Award-winning musical over the years, and while each of those iterations of the classic story has been unique, the first trailer for Warner Bros.’ upcoming remake makes it seem like it’s going to be a fascinating fusion of them all.
From executive producers Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg, and Scott Sanders, Warner Bros.’ new The Color Purple tells the story of Celie (Phylicia Mpasi, Fantasia Barrino) and Nettie Harris (Halle Bailey, Ciara Wilson), two sisters whose traumatic lives are profoundly upended when Nettie’s forced to run away in search of a better life as a teenager. Time and distance separate the sisters and transform them into radically different people during the years they’re apart. But a childhood promise that they’ll always keep in contact by letter gives Celie hope that she’ll see her sister again one day, and the trailer highlights just how important Mpasi and Bailey’s performances as the sisters in the past are to understanding Barino and Wilson’s as their adult selves.
While the trailer only gives us the smallest taste of Fantasia’s vocals, Taraji P. Henson’s spin on Shug Avery, and Danielle Brooks’ Sofia, that’s really all you need to get a sense of how electric they’re all going to be. We’re still a ways off from the next awards season cycle, but it feels safe to assume that after The Color Purple hits theaters on December 25th, it’s going to be one of the stronger contenders.