Following his big wins at this year's GRAMMY Awards, Jon Batiste will make his screen acting debut in the upcoming remake of The Color Purple.
Batiste is set to portray Grady, Shug Avery’s (played by Taraji P. Henson) husband - a sweet-talking piano man. He isn't the only musician joining the cast to make their acting debut. Last year, it was reported Grammy and Oscar-winning artist H.E.R. will also be making her silver screen debut as the character Squeak.
Besides H.E.R. and Henson, Batiste will join a previously-reported cast of Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, and others.
Warner Bros. is behind the feature adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical, which is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel by Alice Walker. In 1985, Steven Spielberg released his Oscar-nominated version of the story. The plot centers around a woman named Celie Harris and tells of her lifelong struggles as an African American woman living in the early-1900s South.
Blitz Bazawule (Beyoncé's Black Is King) is set to direct the remake, with a screenplay from Marcus Gardley based on Alice Walker’s novel. Oprah Winfrey — who made her own feature acting debut in 1985’s The Color Purple — Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones are all set to produce.
This isn't the first time Jon Batiste has helped out with a highly-anticipated feature film. He previously earned an Oscar for Best Original Score for the Pixar film Soul.
The Color Purple is set for release on Dec. 20, 2023.
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