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Chadwick Boseman Plays the Blues in the Trailer for His Final Film 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

Also starring Viola Davis, it'll hit Netflix in December.
By Sarah Ward
October 20, 2020
By Sarah Ward
October 20, 2020

Back in 2014, before he slipped into Black Panther's suit, Chadwick Boseman stepped into James Brown's shoes. Playing the iconic musician in Get On Up, Boseman lit up the screen — and while he'll forever be known for his time in Wakanda, the biopic ranks among his greatest performances.

Although Boseman's career was tragically cut short due to his death to cancer in August this year, the actor has one more film set to reach screens — and it too sees him playing music. To be specific, he's playing the blues as an ambitious trumpeter called Levee in the new movie adaptation of August Wilson's play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

On the stage since 1982, and now in this new Netflix movie version, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom focuses on an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago. Ma Rainey, the "Mother of the Blues" (played by Viola Davis), is the star of the session, but she's running late as she fights with her manager over control of her music. As the band waits, Levee and fellow musicians Cutler (Colman Domingo, If Beale Street Could Talk), Toledo (Glynn Turman, Fargo) and Slow Drag (Michael Potts, True Detective) bide their time swapping stories in the rehearsal room.

As helmed by Tony-winning playwright and theatre director George C. Wolfe (for Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom hits streaming on December 18 — and, while this time of year brings awards speculation about almost every weighty drama with a high-profile cast, Boseman and Davis in particular have been the subject of plenty of predictions.

As well as marking Boseman's final film, it's his second this year — and his second Netflix feature, too — following his potent supporting role in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods.

Check out the trailer for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom below:

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will be available to stream via Netflix from December 18.

Top image: David Lee, Netflix.

Published on October 20, 2020 by Sarah Ward


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