H.E.R. to Make Acting Debut in The Color Purple Musical

After winning an Oscar earlier this year, musical artist H.E.R. is turning to a role in front of the camera, as she is in the final negotiations to make her acting debut in The Color Purple movie musical.

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H.E.R. — real name Gabriella Wilson — is said to be playing Squeak, a waitress at a juke joint who aspires to be a singer, per The Hollywood Reporter. The musical is set to be directed by Blitz Bazawule, who most recently directed the musical film and visual album Black Is King for Beyonce. Marcus Gardley is set to write the screenplay, which will be adapted from the book on the musical by Marsha Norman. The movie is currently in pre-production, with the only other cast member mentioned being Corey Hawkins (In the Heights) having also joined the film.

Based on the incredibly well-known 1982 novel, The Color Purple tells the story of a woman named Celie Harris, an African-American woman in the American South, and the many struggles she faces while living during the early to mid-20th century. In 2005, the book was adapted into a musical, with music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.

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The original Broadway production ran from 2005 to 2008 and earned 11 Tony Award nominations in 2006. The production was revived in 2015, running for two years and winning two Tony Awards in 2016, including one for Best Revival of a Musical.

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