The first photos have been released from Chadwick Boseman’s final movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The incredibly talented star of films including Black Panther and Marshall passed away on Friday, August 28, 2020 after a private four year battle with colon cancer. Boseman stars as an ambitious horn player in this drama inspired by the life of Ma Rainey and based on the play by Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson.
The cast is led by Oscar winner Viola Davis in the title role. Emmy Award winner Glynn Turman is Toledo, Tony nominee Colman Domingo plays Cutler, Michael Potts is Slow Drag, Taylour Paige is Dussie Mae, and Dusan Brown plays Sylvester.
Five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) directed and Ruben Santiago-Hudson adapted Wilson’s play for the screen. Denzel Washington, Todd Black, and Dany Wolf produced, with Constanza Romero executive producing.
Netflix is targeting a December 18, 2020 release.
Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Boseman) – who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry – spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.
Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth.