Brooks has been tapped to play Sofia, a role that she played on Broadway during the 2015 revival production, which earned her a Tony Award nomination. Barrino, meanwhile, will be reprising the role of Celie, which he first portrayed in her Broadway debut in 2007.
The casting news was announced Thursday, as part of the ABC News special Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queens Rising.
During the special, Brooks rewatched the moment she was surprised with the news of her casting with a special Zoom call from Oprah Winfrey -- who portrayed Sofia in the original 1985 film, earning herself an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
"I am here representing all things purple to tell you that you are our Sofia," Winfrey told an emotional and excited Brooks. "I'm so happy to pass whatever baton from 35 -- almost 40 -- years ago to you. And I know you're gonna kill it."
“My heart is so full. I’m going to make you so proud," Brooks shared, through tears. Winfrey sweetly replied, "You already have."
"I wanted to be the one to tell you because you know I have such love for her, this character," Winfrey explained, "everything she represents and everything she brought to my life. And what I’m hoping is that she does the same thing for you."
During the special, Barrino and Brooks reflected on the connections they felt to their characters, and how they had to learn to embrace themselves. Barrino recalled, "I remember being on Idol, and we had to come up with this little thing, and I said, ‘My lips are big, but my talent is bigger.’ I had started accepting who I was at that age, but when I was younger, it was things that I dealt with -- just feeling beautiful, wanting a certain kind of love. So we relate in a lot of ways."
"I really don’t have the words to describe how much I love the theater," shared Brooks, who appeared in the production while still starring in Orange Is the New Black. "Every night, when I get to say that at the end of the night, when I’m exhausted, when I get to say, and to a crowd full of people who are all on their feet, “Look what God has done,” that is my favorite moment. That’s my favorite moment, because it’s so true to my life."
While she was passionate about being on stage, she admitted that she wasn't necessarily done being in front of the camera either.
"It definitely is my passion for sure -- this is what I’ve always wanted to do. But I still want to put my foot in some film and see what that world’s like," she shared. "I do like the fact that you can do TV, memorize your lines, shoot it, and be done. 'Cause I’m not going to be done with this for a very long time."
Bazawule (Black King, The Burial of Kojo, Cherish the Day) will direct the fresh take on the Broadway musical, according to Variety, which was first to report the news. The outlet is also reporting Marcus Gardley (The Chi) wrote the screenplay based on Walker's novel, Spielberg's film and the stage musical.
Winfrey, meanwhile, is producing the film via her Harpo Films company. Spielberg is also on board as a producer.