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Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson has been tapped to star as Shug Avery in the upcoming film adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical, The Color Purple. Blitz Bazawule, known for his directorial work on films such as The Burial of Kojo and Beyoncé’s melanated visual album Black is King, will lend his creative genius to the forthcoming movie.

In Steven Spielberg’s 1985 version of the classic, Shug Avery was a sassy and sexually liberated Jazz and Blues singer who was later introduced as Mister’s “long-time mistress,” according to Variety. Avery forms a close friendship with the film’s main character, Celie.

Following the big announcement, Henson, 51, gushed about the big opportunity on Instagram.

“That’s Shug Avery to you,” she captioned a photo of herself alongside a video of Avery’s character. “I am beyond THRILLED to share this news with you I’ve been dying to tell y’all!!! I’m so honored to play this iconic role and I can’t wait to share more, very soon!” she added. “Catch yours truly in Blitz Bazawule’s #TheColorPurple next year.”

Back in December 2021, the Think Like a Man star graced TV screens as the infamous Miss Hannigan during ABC’s musical television special Annie Live! Henson knocked it out of the park with the iconic role, so we have no doubt in mind that she’ll portray Shug Avery with ease.

What a way to ring in Black History Month too!


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