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.
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.
Steven Spielberg was not interested in directing 1985’s The Color Purple
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),
“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.
Steven Spielberg approved 2023’s The Color Purple
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.