Taraji P. Henson to Play Shug Avery in ‘The Color Purple’ Musical


The film adaptation of the Broadway musical, The purple colortakes shape by adding another big name to its cast. Taraji P.Henson will star in the film as Shug Avery, as reported by New York Post.

Avery is a jazz and blues singer who befriends the main character, Celie, after being the mistress of her tyrannical and abusive husband, Robert, or “Sir”. Henson, 51, will join a cast that includes the Emmy-winning actor Corey Hawkin as well as Oscar and Grammy winner HER. Hawkins will play Harpo, while HER will play his love, Squeak.

This will be HER’s acting debut; Hawkins, who won his Emmy for the Fox series 24: Legacystarred in The Walking Dead, straight out of Compton and In the heights.

SHE thegrio.com
HER, winner of Best Original Song for “Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah,” poses in the Oscars press room on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

The purple color The Broadway musical was adapted from the 1985 Steven Spielberg film, itself adapted from by Alice Walker 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. It chronicles Celie’s life from teenage to adult, living in the mid-1900s in the South.

The film, nominated for 10 Oscars, starred Whoopi Goldberg like Celie, Margaret Avery like Shug Avery, Rae Dawn Chong like Squeak and Oprah Winfrey like Sophia.

Winfrey went on to produce the Broadway musical adaptation of the film in the early 2000s, which featured a cast including Jennifer Hudson, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Holliday, Heather Headley and Fancy. Headley played Shug Avery on stage.

Winfrey will produce the film version of the musical, directed by Samuel “Blitz the Ambassador” Bazawule. The Ghanaian filmmaker based in Brooklyn has just directed black is king, by Beyoncé 2020 film project built around his album, The Lion King: The Gift.

The purple color is his third film, after black is king and his first feature film in 2018, Kojo’s funeral.

Taraji P. Henson thegrio.com

Playwright Marcus Garley will write the script for the musical. Gardley is executive editor of several episodes of the Showtime drama series, The Chi.

In December, Henson starred in the NBC musical Anne Live! as Miss Hannigan, the owner of the orphanage where little orphan Annie first resides. Miss Hannigan was portrayed in film in 1982 by comedian carol burnet. Henson also featured her vocal chops in the 2005 film Bustle and flowwhile singing the hook to the Oscar-winning song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”

The purple color is slated for release on December 20, 2023.

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