Music News

Here's a first look at Ma Rainey's Black Bottom starring Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix has released a few preview photos of the upcoming film adaptation of August Wilson‘s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis and the late actor Chadwick Boseman. 

The film is set in 1920s Chicago, similar to the Broadway play, which first opened in 1984. It will focus on the legendary “Mother of Blues” Ma Rainey, played by Davis, who struggles with her white agent and producer, and other racial tensions in the music industry over control of her music.

The photos include Davis and Boseman, as Rainey’s “ambitious” trumpet player Levee, as well as Emmy-winner Glynn TurmanColman Domingo, and Michael Potts.

Ma Rainey’s “celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artist who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth.”

The original play starred Theresa Merritt as Rainey and Charles S. Dutton as Levee and was later revived in February 2003 with Whoopi Goldberg and Dutton, reprising his role.

Under production from Oscar-winner Denzel WashingtonMa Rainey’s reunites Washington and Davis for another adaptation of Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. Washington and Davis co-starred in the 2016 film adaptation of Fences.

Ma Rainey’s marks Boseman’s last film before his untimely passing after a quiet four-year battle with colon cancer on Aug. 28. He was 43. 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom arrives Dec. 18.

By Rachel George
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