The upcoming movie musical adaptation of The Color Purple is set to hit theaters on Christmas (Dec. 25) day. It stars Fantasia, Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, and H.E.R. as Celie, Sofia, Shug, and Squeak, respectively.

According to Oprah Winfrey, filming brought its unique set of challenges. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she shared insights on the pressures they faced due to the film’s substantial budget, which ranged from $90 to $100 million.

Notably, the talk show host and actress returned as a producer alongside Steven Spielberg. She opened up about how the higher budget led to expectations of casting high-profile stars like Beyoncé or Rihanna but emphasized that were are other capable actors for the roles.

“To be completely honest about it, if you were doing this film for $30 or $40 million, the interest in the cast would be very different,” Winfrey explained. “Once the film moved to $90 to $100 million, 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 continued, “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.”

Winfrey was seemingly correct. Filming for The Color Purple reportedly began in early 2022, just a few months before Beyoncé debuted her RENAISSANCE album. Meanwhile, Rihanna stepped into a new role as a mother that year.

However, the film did wind up getting director Blitz Bazawule, who previously worked with Beyoncé on the 2020 Lion King visual album Black Is King. Additionally, the soundtrack will boast contributions from Halle Bailey, Megan Thee Stallion, Alicia Keys, Usher, Jorja Smith, and more.