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Corey Hawkins to Play Harpo in The Color Purple Movie Musical

The In the Heights star will appear in another big stage-to-screen project.

Corey Hawkins will star in the upcoming stage-to-screen adaptation of The Color Purple.
(© David Gordon)

Corey Hawkins has been selected to play Harpo in the upcoming Warner Bros. movie adaptation of the Broadway musical, The Color Purple. This is according to Deadline, which claims that the studio has been testing actors opposite him for the film.

Hawkins most recently appeared as Benny the cab dispatcher in the Warner Bros. screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, giving a performance that our critic hailed as "heroic." One expects a somewhat different take on Harpo, a man torn between the patriarchal expectations of his father and the take-no-prisoners attitude of his wife.

Based on the novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a young black woman living in rural Georgia who becomes estranged from her beloved sister, is forcibly wed to an older widower, and becomes smitten with a lady juke joint singer — all in the first act.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 2005 and features a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. It was revived on Broadway in 2015, earning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. It was also the Broadway debut of Cynthia Erivo, who earned the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Celie.

The property was first adapted for the screen in 1985 with direction by Steven Spielberg. He produces this musical remake, alongside Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones. Marcus Gardley will pen the screenplay and Blitz Bazawule will direct.

The Color Purple is set to hit cinemas on Dec. 21, 2023.