Grammy-winning singer HER is all set to make her feature film debut with the big-screen adaptation of the musical The Colour Purple.
The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical is an adaptation of the 1982 book of the same name by Alice Walker, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Steven Spielberg adapted the book into a film in 1985, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey in breakthrough roles.
HER, 24, has been cast as Squeak in the new adaptation, to be based on the musical, and will play a waitress and aspiring singer, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The Colour Purple tells the story of Celie Harris and her struggles as an African American woman living in the American South during the early 1900s.
Blitz Bazawule, one of the directors of Beyonce's 2019 musical film Black Is King, is set to direct. Winfrey, who won an Oscar nomination for her role, is listed as one of the producers along with Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. Quincy Jones, who is behind the Broadway musical, will also produce.
Corey Hawkins, known for his roles in Straight Outta Compton and In the Heights, has also been cast in the film.
HER, whose real name is Gabriella Wilson, has had a memorable year with her Grammy win for the George Floyd-themed song I Can't Breathe as well as her Oscar for Fight For You, from the film Judas and the Black Messiah. She released her full-length debut album Back of My Mind in June.
"I didn't imagine that my fear and that my pain would turn into impact," she said while accepting her Grammy in March. "I want to thank God for giving me the gift of a voice and a pen and using me as a vessel to create change."
In an interview with Variety earlier this year, the singer, whose mother is Filipino, said she was keen for people to see different sides of her.
“There is so much I want to do. People don’t really get to see my comedic and fun side, except for when I’m impersonating my aunt,” she said. “But I definitely want to do a lot more voice-overs, and comedy, but also some serious roles.
"I’m trying to do it all, I know. Whatever it is, one thing at a time. I’m gonna get there," she said.
The Colour Purple is scheduled to be released in December 2023.