A Guide to 2023's 'The Color Purple' Cast (Plus the Trailer and Release Date)

To get you ready for the Dec 25 premiere

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Warner Bros.

If, by chance, you are looking for something to do on Christmas Day or after you celebrated with the family, perhaps catching a movie might be the move. In case you haven't heard, 1985 classic The Color Purple has gotten the remake treatment, and it hits theaters on December 25. A musical adaptation of Alice Walker's 1982 book of the same name, the 2023 version of The Color Purple is produced once again by Steven Spielberg alongside Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, and has already gotten positive reviews from critics ahead of it's release. A quick glance at the ensemble cast shows multiple names that you'll instantly recognize, and today we're going to be breaking the down the stars of the film along with the roles that they'll be playing. Needless to say, the musical and theatrical talent showcased in this film is off the charts.

Let's take a look shall we?

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When is 'The Color Purple' release date?

As we just mentioned, The Color Purple will arrive in theaters on December 25, 2023. The final trailer for the film was just released approximately a week ago which you can check out above.

'The Color Purple' Trailer:

What is 'The Color Purple' about?

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Warner Bros.

The Color Purple follows the respective stories of four women who survive their abusive relationships with the help of one another. Set in the South circa the early 1900s, this iteration of The Color Purple follows the 1985 version of the same name, and is a film adaptation of both Alice Walker's 1982 novel and the stage production. The Color Purple was originally announced in 2018, with production beginning in March 2022. Filming wrapped in July 2022.

Who is in 'The Color Purple' cast?

Let's meet the starring cast of the film:

Fantasia Barrino

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Warner Bros.


Singer and actress Fantasia Barrino stars as Celie Harris-Johnson, a woman who has been torn apart from her sister, and has had to endure her fair share of hardships—including dealing with an abusive husband. Barrino first rose to prominence in the early 2000s through the show American Idol, achieving breakthrough success with her 2004 debut album Free Yourself. For her role as Celie, Barrino has already snagged a Golden Globe nomination.

Taraji P. Henson

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Warner Bros.

As most of us learned in 2005's Hustle & Flow, Taraji P. Henson is no stranger to putting her vocal chops on display (she actually performed "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" at the Oscars). In The Color Purple, Henson is the sultry seductive songstress Shug Avery. Ms. Avery has quite the reputation around town, but despite what people may say about her, she's actually really genuine and caring.

Danielle Brooks

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Warner Bros.


Julliard graduate Danielle Brooks reprises her broadway role of Sofia, whom she portrayed from 2015 to 2017. Brooks has many additional credits to her name including starring as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson is the popular television series Orange is the New Black, along with appearances in the films Clemency (2019) and The Day Shall Come (2019) along with others. Brooks will next be seen in 2025's Minecraft.

Colman Domingo

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Warner Bros.

Albert "Mister" Johnson

Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo has tons of credits to his name including: The Birth of a Nation (2016), Candyman (2021), Transformers: Rise of the Beast (2023), and more. In The Color Purple, Domingo portrays the main antagonist Albert "Mister" Johnson—the abusive husband of Celie who's bitter that he was turned down by the woman he really wanted to be with.

Corey Hawkins

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Warner Bros.

Harpo Johnson

First rising to fame for his roles in The Walking Dead (2015 - 2017), and Straight Outta Compton (2015), Corey Hawkins stars as Harpo Johnson who's in a continuous battle between good and evil. When Harpo is good—he's really good. On the flip side, when Harpo is evil—he's really evil. Harpo is also rather misogynistic, which further leads to his rash impulsive nature and decision making that ultimately winds up affecting his marriage to his Sofia.


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Warner Bros.

Squeak / Mary Agnes

Singer and actress H.E.R. takes on the role of Squeak aka Mary Agnes—a young woman who starts off very meek and quiet, but soon grows to discover her strength and voice. At 27-year-old, H.E.R. has already received an Academy Award, five Grammy Awards, a Children's and Family Emmy Award, a Golden Globe nomination, three American Music Awards, and four Billboard Music Awards.

Halle Bailey

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Warner Bros.

Young Nettie

Halle Bailey concludes a very successful 2023 (one which also saw her starring as Ariel in The Little Mermaid) with her portrayal as the younger version of Nettie. Halle's role as young Nettie has already gotten her nominations at the Saturn Awards, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and the Black Reel Awards.

Aunjanue Ellis

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Warner Bros.


Acclaimed actress Aunjanue Ellis (The Birth of a Nation (2016), King Richard (2021), When They See Us (2019), Lovecraft Country (2021)) stars as Mama—the mother of Celie and Nettie whom herself has had a turbulent life full of ups and downs. It's also eventually revealed that Mama kept some very important family secrets from her daughters, which adds another layer to the relationship dynamics.


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Warner Bros.

Nettie Harris

The Grammy Award-winning Ciara portrays the older version of Nettie in The Color Purple. The sister of Celie, Nettie starts off reserved and quiet, but ends up finding her voice as well with the progression of time. Nettie is incredibly intelligent, and eventually proves herself to be the one that loves Celie the most wholeheartedly out of everybody.

The Color Purple is also boosted by the talent of Jon Batiste, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Deon Cole, Tamela J. Mann, Stephen Hill, and Elizabeth Marvel.

The Color Purple makes its way to theaters on December 25.

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