The upcoming screen version of Broadway's The Color Purple hits movie theatres December 25, but a film soundtrack and a making-of documentary film will be released as well.
The soundtrack album, which will feature both the film's songs and tracks "inspired by" the movie musical, will release December 15 from Warner Brothers, WaterTower Music, and Gamma. A track list hasn't been revealed, but press notes say listeners can expect performances from Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Megan Thee Stallion, Jennifer Hudson, Keyshia Cole, Jorja Smith, Coco Jones, Ciara, and Mary Mary, along with a duet from Usher and H.E.R. and a "special remix" by Missy Elliott.
The album's first single, "Lifeline," is already available for streaming. The song is written, co-produced, and performed by Alicia Keys, described as a "heartfelt ode to the unequivocal comfort emanating from friends, family, and community that holds us up as we face life's challenging moments." Listen to it below.
The release is produced by Nick Baxter, The Color Purple co-songwriter Stephen Bray, and film director Blitz Bazawule, with Broadway and screen Color Purple producers Quincy Jones and Scott Sanders serving as executive producers with Gamma co-founder and CEO Larry Jackson.
Another album showcasing the film's score, composed by Kris Bowers, will release alongside the film December 25.
The documentary, Oprah and The Color Purple, will stream on Max beginning December 28, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the film along with the legacy of Alice Walker's original novel and its previous adaptations. The film is hosted by Oprah Winfrey, who received an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Sofia in the 1985 screen version of Walker's novel and later co-produced both Broadway productions of the musical and its forthcoming screen adaptation.
The Color Purple is led on screen by Broadway Color Purple alums Fantasia Barrino as Celie and Danielle Brooks as Sophia, along with Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, H.E.R. as Squeak, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, Tony nominee Colman Domingo as Mister, Broadway The Lion King alum Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as Young Celie, Grammy winners Jon Batiste as Grady and Ciara as Adult Nettie, Tony winner David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery, Aunjanue Ellis as Celie and Nettie's mother, Elizabeth Marvel as Miss Millie, Louis Gossett, Jr. as Ol' Mister, Tamela Mann as First Lady, Deon Cole as Alfonso, Stephen Hill as Buster, Terrence J. Smith as Adam, Tiffany Elle Burgess as Olivia, and Aba Arthur as Abena.
Blitz Bazawule, who co-helmed Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King, directs, with Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Sanders, and Steven Spielberg serving as producers. Marcus Gardley penned the screenplay, adapted from Marsha Norman’s stage book and Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray’s score. The stage musical was adapted from Alice Walker's 1982 Pulitzer-winning novel and its 1985 film adaptation.
The Color Purple debuted on Broadway in 2005, winning original Celie, LaChanze, a Tony Award for her performance. A 2015 revival helmed by John Doyle earned its Celie, Cynthia Erivo, a Tony Award before propelling her to Hollywood stardom. Brooks co-starred with Erivo as Sophia, the role she reprises in the upcoming movie musical.