Tony nominee Lileana Blain-Cruz tapped to direct the first theatrical adaptation of the musician’s classic film and album
Prince’s classic film Purple Rain is heading to the stage. Based on Albert Magnoli and William Blinn’s screenplay for the 1984 film, the musical will be directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, The New York Times reports.
Producer Orin Wolf, who is shepherding the theatrical adaptation of a separate music industry movie, Buena Vista Social Club, announced the news on Monday that he’s developing the stage adaptation. The resident director of Lincoln Center Theater, Blain-Crus was nominated for a 2022 revival of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth, which had a short run on Broadway. The Purple Rain adaptation will feature a book by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate is currently running on Broadway.
The original film starred Prince as The Kid, a musician who fronts the Minneapolis band the Revolution. While navigating abuse at home and band-infighting, the Kid competes with a local rival while courting another aspiring singer, all while his ambitions and career take off.
The movie marked Prince’s film debut, and it featured some of his biggest hits — including the Number One songs “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” and the title track, which peaked at Number Two. Purple Rain, the album, was Number One on the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks and won an Academy Award for best original score. The LP made Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Wolf did not detail when the production is expected or where it might launch. Prince died in 2016; reps and music rightsholders said in a statement that they were “thrilled” that the Purple Rain legacy would continue for a new generation.