Warner Bros. will be juggling a lot in the Oscar race for best original song.
As confirmed by an FYC advertisement sent to Critics Choice Association members, along with the multiple tracks from “Barbie” by Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, the studio will also handle several numbers from their two upcoming holiday movie musicals: “The Color Purple” and “Wonka.”
The upcoming adaptation of the musical “The Color Purple” will screen in front of its first official audience of industry voters and journalists next week. We now know that two numbers have been submitted for awards consideration — “Keep It Movin’” and “Workin’”
One of the film’s stars Halle Bailey, already having a breakout year with her starring role as Ariel in Walt Disney’s live adaptation of “The Little Mermaid,” has co-written “Keep It Movin’.” The track is also penned by Grammy winners Denisia Andrews, Brittany Coney and Morten Ristorp, who have all worked on songs performed by superstar Beyoncé. The song is sung by Bailey, who plays young Nettie, and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, who portrays young Celie. The song race becomes another opportunity for Bailey to nab awards love this year, as she’s one of the leading candidates to nab a lead actress (comedy) nom for her work in her Disney musical.
The other song, “Workin’,” is written by the film’s director and Grammy nominated artist Blitz Bazawule, in addition to Grammy winner Nick Baxter. The number is performed by Corey Hawkins, who plays Harpo Johnson, and the ensemble.
The film stars Fantasia Barrino, Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, H.E.R., Ciara, Jon Batiste and Louis Gossett Jr. Based on the classic novel by Alice Walker, and the stage musical by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray and Marsha Norman, the film tells the story of an African American woman living in the south during the early 1900s. The book was first adapted by director Steven Spielberg in 1985, who returns as a producer along with the original film’s Academy Award nominated star Oprah Winfrey, Oscar-nominated producer Quincy Jones and Grammy and Tony winner Scott Sanders.
In addition to original song, the film will be submitted in all eligible categories including directing, actress (Barrino), supporting actor (Domingo, Hawkins), supporting actress (Brooks, Henson, H.E.R., Bailey, Mpasi), adapted screenplay (Marcus Gardley), cinematography (Dan Laustsen), film editing (Jon Poll), production design (Paul Denham Austerberry, Larry Dias), costume design (Francine Jamison-Tanchuck), makeup and hairstyling (Carol Rasheed, Lawrence Davis), sound (Richard Bullock, Steve Morrow, Renee Tondelli, Julian Slater, Paul Massey), visual effects (Ariel Velasco Shaw, Julian Lojeck, Tom Mahoney, Charles Cooley) and original score (Kris Bowers).
Also confirmed via an FYC ad, its WB counterpart “Wonka,” starring Oscar-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet, will have three original numbers angling for awards attention. “A World of Your Own” by songwriters Neil Hannon, Simon Farnaby and Paul King, and is sung by Chalamet, had already been listed on WB’s awards site. The ad names two other songs — “You’ve Never Had Chocolate Like This” penned by the same trio and “For a Moment” by Hannon and performed by Chalamet and co-star Calah Lane. We’ll see if we can hear any part of the songs during Chalamet’s “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig on Saturday.
“The Color Purple” will be released in theaters on Dec. 25.