Steven Spielberg, who directed and produced the 11-time Oscar-nominated 1985 film, is returning as a producer with Quincy Jones, though he will not direct. Both the musical and the film are based off of Alice Walker’s 1982 book about Celie, a black Southern woman who struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father, husband and others over the course of four decades.
Oprah Winfrey, who made her feature debut in the original movie and earned a Supporting Actress Oscar nom, is also producing the movie with Scott Sanders. Winfrey, Jones and Sanders produced the Broadway musical. The project is currently looking for a writer.
The original Broadway musical debuted in 2005, scoring 11 Tony Award nominations in 2006 and winning for LaChanze’s role as Celie. It ran for 910 performances. A revival in 2015 scored four more Tony noms and won for Best Revival of a Musical and for Cynthia Erivo in her Broadway debut.