“I am an alien!”: Steven Spielberg Had the Best Reason Behind Rejecting Offer To Direct 1985 Film that Won 11 Oscar Nominations

Director Steven Spielberg had a valid reason to reject this 1985 movie that earned 11 Oscar nominations.

Steven Spielberg Had the Best Reason Behind Rejecting Offer To Direct 1985 Film that Won 11 Oscar Nominations

SUMMARY

  • Blitz Bazawule's 2023 movie The Color Purple was recently applauded at the David Geffen Academy Museum Theater.
  • Steven Spielberg had earlier released his version of The Color Purple in 1985.
  • Now, Spielberg is the producer of the 2023 movie after previously claiming that it should be filmed by a Black director.
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Recently, director Blitz Bazawule’s 2023 movie The Color Purple was applauded during its screening at the David Geffen Academy Museum Theater. The movie is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 25, 2023. Bazawule’s movie is the second adaptation of the 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker.  Steven Spielberg had earlier released his version back in 1985. Spielberg green-lit the 2023’s The Color Purple in 2018 and served as its producer as well.

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Oprah Winfrey in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985)
Oprah Winfrey in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple (1985)

Spielberg previously revealed that he was initially reluctant to direct 1985’s The Color Purple because he felt that a black director should direct the movie. The film was a turning point in Spielberg’s career as it wasn’t the kind of typical summer blockbuster that he was popular for.

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Also read: “Whatever you do, don’t blink”: Steven Spielberg Had a Strange Advice For The Hunger Games Spin Off Star Rachel Zegler

Steven Spielberg was not interested in directing 1985’s The Color Purple

Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985)
Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple (1985)

In 1985, musician Quincy Jones approached Steven Spielberg to direct 1985’s The Color Purple, however, Spielberg refused, claiming that his knowledge of the Deep South was inadequate. He claimed that it would be more appropriate if the film was directed by a black director. In a recent interview, Spielberg said, (via Vanity Fair),

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“You need a black director for this,” adding, “He (Quincy Jones) said, ‘Did you have to be an alien to direct E.T.? and I said, ‘Actually, I am an alien!'”

The film was a box office success, grossing roughly $98 million on a budget of $15 million. It was well-received by the viewers and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards.

Also read: Steven Spielberg’s Career as a Director Was Never the Same After the Birth of His First Child

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Steven Spielberg approved 2023’s The Color Purple

the color purple 2023
A still from The Color Purple (2023)

At the David Geffen Academy Museum Theater, Oprah Winfrey, who starred in Spielberg’s The Color Purple, revealed that Spielberg approved the 2023 version in 2018. Spielberg then explained why he approved it,

“What made me say ‘yes’ was your production of The Color Purple musical on Broadway, which I thought was extraordinary. I didn’t really know if The Color Purple had another movie in it until you, and the songwriter, and that cast proved that another iteration could stand on its own, with The Color Purple ’85 version being its context, but not defining it,” adding, “This had its own definition, and this was relevant for our time for now, for audiences today.”

Both the movies are based on the 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. 2023’s The Color Purple is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 25, 2023.

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Related: “He’s not an a**hole like Spielberg”: Steven Spielberg Became Collateral Damage After Disgruntled Director Went Guns Blazing Against James Cameron

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Written by Farhan Asif

With over 2 years of experience in content writing, Farhan Asif is a seasoned writer at FandomWire where he specializes in bringing the latest news and insights from the world of entertainment and gaming to readers around the world. With over 700 published articles for FandomWire, he has also written more than 750 articles for AnimatedTimes. Apart from this, he has a passion for coding and is pursuing a degree in computer science. During his free time, Farhan loves to play video games and hopes to create a video game of his own one day.