Russell Wilson isn’t the only one in his house booking a new gig, as his wife, R&B singer Ciara, has joined the cast of The Color Purple movie musical. According to Entertainment Weekly, the “Get Up” singer will play Adult Nettie. Singer/actress Halle Bailey was previously cast as Young Nettie.
The film, which is being produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, is based on the stage musical. While it follows a similar story to the 1985 film, act two expands on Celie’s life after leaving Mister, including scenes of Nettie in Africa and the sisters’ reunion.
Ciara joins a star-studded cast that includes Broadway stars Fantasia as Celie and Danielle Brooks as Sofia, alongside Empire star Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Colman Domingo (Euphoria) as Mister, Corey Hawkins (The Tragedy of Macbeth) as Harpo, Grammy and Oscar winner H.E.R. as Squeak, legendary Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. as Ol’ Mister, and Tony winner David Alan Grier (A Black Lady Sketch Show) as Reverend Avery.
If you take away nothing else from this cast, it’s that you haven’t truly lived until you’ve seen Fantasia sing “I’m Here.” It comes near the end of act two, so plan your trip to the theater accordingly. With Oprah and Spielberg producing, it’s also worth questioning whether we’ll see cameos from original film stars like Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover or Winfrey? Seems like it’s a safe bet.
This will be a big mountain to climb for Ciara, as she doesn’t have extensive film experience. Her credits consist of recurring as herself on The Game, the 2012 Adam Sandler movie That’s My Boy, the musical Mama, I Want to Sing! and the 2006 MTV movie All You’ve Got. Obviously, she’s a veteran entertainer with countless live performances and music videos under her belt, but a musical of this scale is a different animal.
Production is scheduled to begin in Georgia this month, with the film aiming for a December 2023 release.