Oprah Says ‘Color Purple’ Execs Originally Wanted To Cast Beyoncé Or Rihanna

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The new musical adaption of The Color Purple will be hitting theaters on Christmas day. The film boasts an extraordinary cast including Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks but according to Oprah, there would been some different names in the film if it were up to its execs.

In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Winfrey explained that because the film had a large budget, which ranged from $90 to $100 million, there were expectations of casting stars like Beyoncé or Rihanna.

“To be completely honest about it, if you were doing this film for $30 or $40 million, the interest in the cast would be very different,” Winfrey shared. “Once the film moved to $90 to $100 million, then everybody wants us to bring Beyoncé. ‘Can you get Beyoncé, or can you get Rihanna?’ So we’re sitting in a room saying, ‘Listen, we love Beyoncé. We love Rihanna, but there are other actors who can do this job.’”

She continued to explain, “I do remember conversations about, ‘Y’all, Beyoncé is going to be busy this year.’ It wasn’t even a negotiation because you’re not getting Beyoncé.”

Although the film was not graced by Beyoncé, it was directed by Blitz Bazawule, who previously worked with Beyoncé on the 2020 Lion King visual album Black Is King. The film’s soundtrack will also include names like Halle Bailey, Megan Thee Stallion, Alicia Keys, Usher, and Jorja Smith. Winfrey and executive produced the film alongside Steven Spielberg.