Grammy winner Jon Batiste is to make his acting debut in an upcoming remake of The Color Purple.
he 35-year-old musician, who picked up five Grammys from 11 nominations last week, will play Grady in the new Warner Bros adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker, according to US outlets.
The project is being directed by Blitz Bazawule, who co-directed Beyonce’s Black Is King. Orange Is The New Black’s Danielle Brooks will play Sofia and American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino has been cast as Celie.
The film, which is slated for release in 2023, will also star Taraji P Henson, H.E.R. and Halle Bailey.
Batiste joins the cast after recently picking up the coveted album of the year Grammy for his 2021 record We Are.
The multi-genre performer also won the best American roots performance and best American roots song gongs for Cry, best music video for Freedom and best score soundtrack for visual media for the 2020 Disney-Pixar film Soul.
The Color Purple is set in rural Georgia in the US and follows Celie, a poor black woman living in the early 1990s whose dreams are repeatedly shattered by the cruelty of males.
Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey starred in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film adaptation, which saw both earn Oscar nominations for their roles as Celie and Sofia respectively.
A Tony-winning stage musical version was also created of the coming-of-age story, which was written by Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.
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Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Scott Sanders, who produced the Broadway version, will produce the new big-screen musical alongside Spielberg.