2020 may be going south for many of us but not for Ghanaian-born director Blitz Bazawule. This may well be one of his best years yet. The filmmaker who is still making waves for co-directing Beyoncé’s Disney+ visual album feature Black Is King is headed for another major project.
He is set to direct Warner Bros’ musical film The Color Purple, based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical adapted from Alice Walker’s 1982 novel, according to Deadline.
Bazawule, who is the founder of Africa Film Society, will be working with Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones who were impressed by Bazawule’s unique vision and style after catching his movie The Burial Of Kojo on Netflix and looking at his recent work with Black Is King.
“We, were all blown away by Blitz’s unique vision as a director and look forward to seeing how he brings the next evolution of this beloved story to life,” said Winfrey who co-starred in Spielberg’s 1985 film adaptation of the 1982 Alice Walker novel alongside Danny Glover and Goldberg.
The Color Purple musical film like the original storyline is set in the 1930s and it chronicles the life of four African-American women — Celie, Nettie Harris, Shug Avery, and Miss Millie — in the American South.
The Color Purple has had an award-winning and nomination streak since Spielberg’s film adaptation earned Winfrey a Support Actress nomination and the film itself had 11 Oscar nominations.
In 2005, the original Broadway musical of the story debuted and got an astounding 11 Tony Award nominations the following year, where LaChanze won a Tony for her role as Celie.
The Broadway revival 10 years later earned Cynthia Erivo the Tony for the lead actress in musical and coincidentally she also played Celie which was her Broadway debut.
The Color Purple musical also won Emmy and Grammy awards.
Bazawule has some awards under his belt. According to Deadline, “The Burial Of Kojo premiered at Urbanworld Film Festival where it won Best Narrative Feature (World Cinema). It also won the Grand Prize at the 2019 Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt.”
Thus, the founder of Africa Film Society’s spin to the musical film promises to be ‘dazzled in gold.’