Beyoncé and Rihanna were reportedly eyed for lead roles in the much anticipated remake of The Color Purple.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oprah Winfrey, who originally starred in the 1985 film and led the charge in producing the musical remake, explained how discussions quickly shifted in the search for talent once the budget hit a certain mark — opening the door to secure an A-list talent.



“To be completely honest about it, if you were doing this film for 30 or $40million, the interest in the cast would be very different,” the famed talk show host began. “Once the film moved to 90 to $100million, 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 added: “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.”

A new trailer for the upcoming film was released earlier this week. Check it out below:

Despite their failed efforts to snag Bey or RiRi, the highly-anticipated holiday drop still enlisted an award-winning cast consisting of Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, H.E.R., and Halle Bailey. The film also features production work from Steven Spielberg, Alice Walker, and Quincy Jones, to name a few.

Previously speaking to Essence, Winfrey reflected on first being presented with a role in the Spielberg adaptation, nearly four decades ago citing it as “the best $35,000 I ever earned.”

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“I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to me — a person who wanted nothing more in my life than to be in The Color Purple,” Oprah said at the time. “And God taught me to surrender — that was the big lesson for me. They were only offering $35,000 to be in this film, and it is the best $35,000 I ever earned. It changed everything and taught me so much. It is God moving through my life.”

Despite being snubbed in the musical film category for the upcoming 81st Golden Globes, standout star Fantasia scored a nomination for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.



The Color Purple, has also scored a Supporting Actress nomination for Danielle Brooks.