Take a glimpse at Chadwick Boseman beside Viola Davis in his final role as Levee.
Netflix have teased a first glimpse at Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, an adaptation of August Wilson’s 1982 play by the same name.
Set in 1920s Chicago, the story centres around a band’s recording session with the legendary “Mother of Blues” – Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey, portrayed by Viola Davis. Arriving late to the session, the lionhearted Ma takes her white manager and producer to task over the control of her music in a dynamic portrayal of black rage, self-hatred and racial exploitation.
With Denzel Washington on board as producer and George C. Wolfe in the director chair, the trio are joined by Chadwick Boseman, who died last month after a quiet battle with colon cancer, in his last ever on-screen role as Levee, the band’s trumpeteer.
The film is the second adaptation of a play by American playwright August Wilson, following the Washington directed Fences, which scored Viola Davis a supporting-actress Oscar back in 2015.
In an interview with the New York Times, the cast shared their disbelief at Boseman’s passing, with Denzel Washington commenting: “He did a brilliant job, and he’s gone. I still can’t believe it.” Viola Davis was similarly effusive of the late actor, who made a name for himself as T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther. “I’m looking back at how tired he always seemed,” she said. “I look at his beautiful, unbelievable team that was meditating over him and massaging him, and I now realize everything they were trying to infuse in him to keep him going and working at his optimal level. And he received it.”
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is set to debut December 18 on Netflix. Check out the trailer below…