Chadwick Boseman’s final movie — which he filmed a year before his untimely death this summer — is Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In the movie, he plays an ambitious trumpeter to Viola Davis’ pioneering blues singer.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is set in 1927 Chicago, centering on the tension and conflict between Rainey and the white ownership of the clubs where she performed. Boseman’s character is Levee, who is fictitious, but Rainey was one of the first Black professional blues singers, and also one of the first blues artists to record her performances. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was one of her hit recordings, written for a dance by the same name.
Boseman, best known for his portrayal of Black Panther in four Marvel Cinematic Universe films, died Aug. 28; he had stage IV colon cancer and had kept his treatment out of public view, making his death at age 43 shocking news. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was filmed in July and August 2019 in Pittsburgh.
The movie will premiere on December 18 on Netflix.
The Netflix adaptation is directed by George C. Wolfe and stars Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, Dusan Brown, and Taylour Paige.
You can watch the trailer below:
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