Ghanaian director set to team with Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg on hit movie
Blitz Bazawule, the Co-director of Shatta Wale’s featured Black is King set to land another major role
Blitz Bazawule, who co-directed Beyoncé's recent Black Is King for Disney+, has been tapped to lend his talents to Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg's new movie musical version of The Color Purple. Deadline reports Winfrey and Spielberg were wowed by Bazawule’s 2018 Ghana-set film The Burial of Kojo on Netflix.
As previously announced, Winfrey, who played the role of Sofia in the 1985 film adaptation, and Spielberg, who directed, will co-produce the movie musical with Quincy Jones and Scott Sanders, who co-produced both Broadway productions with Winfrey. Menno Meyjes crafted the screenplay for Spielberg’s original film; this one will be written by poet and playwright Marcus Gardley.
Based on the novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple follows the inspirational Celie as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish, and hope to discover the power of love and life. The first film starred Whoopi Goldberg in an Oscar-nominated performance as Celie. The original Broadway production starred LaChanze in the role; she won a 2006 Tony Award for her performance.
Fantasia earned a Theatre World Award taking over the role in the original Broadway mounting. Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) garnered a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy for her powerful portrayal of Celie in the 2015 revival.
"I know as much as you do!" Erivo previously told Broadway.com of casting plans for the new movie. When asked if she'd like to be a part of it, she responded: "Of course! It’s a piece of art that changed my life. I only think of it fondly. To memorialize the musical version on film would be incredible."
In addition to being a filmmaker and visual artist, Bazawule is a composer and musician of four studio albums, including Stereotype, Native Sun, Afropolitan Dreams and Diasporadical.