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The Color Purple Trailer Is Here, But Is It Queer?

The 'Color Purple' Trailer Is Here, But Is It Queer?

The Color purple trailer
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Fans on Twitter are getting nervous.

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The original The Color Purple, the 1985 film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and directed by Steven Spielberg, is a movie that queer audiences hold near and dear to their hearts. Not only is it one of the greatest films ever made, period, but it also sweetly depicts black queerness on screen, something that remains painfully underrepresented even today, nearly 40 (yes, 40) years later.

Naturally, the news that a new musical adaption is on the way generated plenty of excitement. That buzz was largely due to a cast including Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks, both of whom reprise their Broadway roles, along with Colman Domingo and Taraji P. Henson, who’ve also signed on to bring the story to life.

The trailer finally dropped on Sunday and it looks gorgeous. The costuming, the performances, the music, it’s all there and the hype is high.

There is one thing seemingly missing from the trailer, and it has fans on social media getting nervous. We’re talking, of course, about the original version’s queerness — although to be fair, most of that ended up on the cutting room floor. A modern retelling is a perfect opportunity to course correct and return the story to Walker’s original queer vision, which included a love story for Celie (Barrino) and Shug (Henson). But will it? If so, they aren’t spoiling it in the trailer — and fans are not happy.

Others are already bracing for the predictable backlash of people accusing the film of being part of the dreaded “gay agenda” and who’ve obviously not read the source material which was unapologetic in its queerness.

While this initial trailer may not have been overtly queer-inclusive, the hype (and hope) is still high for this one.

The Color Purple premieres in theaters on December 25. Watch the trailer below.

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.