Jon Batiste gets his big acting debut in musical film adaptation of The Color Purple

After winning five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year earlier in April, Jon Batiste is now turning his attention to the art of acting.

The singer-songwriter, 35, has signed on to join the cast for the remake of The Color Purple, which has backing from such powerful names as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, who all serve as producers.

For her big-screen acting debut, Batiste will play the role of Grady, a debonair, sweet-talking piano man who is the husband of Shug Avery, according to Deadline.

From music to acting: Jon Batiste, 35, is ready to make his acting debut on the big screen in the musical film adaptation of The Color Purple

Many fans know Batiste as bandleader and musical director on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert since its launch in 2015.

He has also released six studio albums since 2005, the most recent being We Are, which helped him win his Album Of The Year Grammy in 2022. Batiste has also dropped three collaborative albums, two soundtrack albums and five live albums over the years.

The New Orleans native, who is an alum from The Juilliard School, has garnered a number of accolades during his musical career, including winning a BAFTA award and an Oscar for best original score for soul, which he shared with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Along with his 11 nominations and five wins at the Grammys a few weeks ago, the musician also has three other nominations: Best American Roots Performance for St. James Infirmary Blues (2019), Best Modern Instrumental Album for Chronology of a Dream: Live at The Village Vanguard (2021) and Best New Age Album Meditations (Shared with Cory Wong), also in 2021.

Batiste has been selected to curate a multi-concert series at Carnegie Hall this year.

Praise: Batiste is running on momentum to win five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year;  he is pictured at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022

Praise: Batiste is running on momentum to win five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year; he is pictured at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022

The Color Purple follows the lifelong struggles of an African-American woman living in the South in the early 1900s.

Fantasia Barrino stars as Celie Harris alongside Colman Domingo (Mister), Taraji P. Henson (Shug Avery), Corey Hawkins (Harpo), Danielle Brooks (Sofia), HER (Squeak), Ciara (Nettie), Louis Gossett Jr. (Ol ‘Mister) and David Alan Grier (pastor Avery), among others.

Directed by Blitz Bazawule, the film is an adaptation of the 2005 Tony-winning Broadway musical of the same name, which was based on Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini and Mara Jacobs are all on board as executive producers.

Scott Sanders is also among the producers along with Spielberg, who directed and produced the original 1985 film; Winfrey, there brings his experience of starring in the first film as Sofia; like Quincy Jones, who was the producer.

The Steven Spielberg-directed version of The Color Purple (1985) starred Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover as Celia and Mister;  Spielberg, Winfrey and Quincy Jones, all acting as producers.

The original: The Steven Spielberg-directed version of The Color Purple (1985), which starred Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover as Celia and Mister

Back for more: Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, who were all involved in the 1985 film version, all act as producers in the new musical film adaptation

Back for more: Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones, who were all involved in the 1985 film version, all act as producers in the new musical film adaptation

Spielberg’s version, which played Whoopi Goldberg as Celie Harris and Danny Glover as ‘Mister’ Albert Johnson, received critical acclaim, especially for the play, including Goldberg’s performance, as well as instruction, script, musical score, and production values.

It continued to be a ticket hit, earning $ 142 million on just a $ 15 million budget.

The original Broadway musical ran from 2005 to 2008 and earned 11 Tony Award nominations in 2006, where LaChanze won Best Actress in a Musical like Celie.

A acclaimed Broadway revival opened in late 2015 and ran through early 2017, winning two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical and Cynthia Erivo for Best Leading Role in a Musical in its Broadway debut.

The musical has also won Grammy and Emmy awards.

Recordings for the new musical coming-of-age period drama began in March 2022, with production taking place at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia.

The Color Purple is scheduled to premiere in theaters in the United States on December 20, 2023.

At the helm: Blitz Bazawule, 39, directs the new musical version of The Color Purple, scheduled to premiere in theaters on December 20, 2023

At the helm: Blitz Bazawule, 39, directs the new musical version of The Color Purple, scheduled to premiere in theaters on December 20, 2023

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