Netflix has dropped an exclusive first look at Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman's final movie, the blues drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Showcasing Academy award-winner Viola Davis' performance as the titular Ma Rainey, Boseman stars as ambitious trumpeter Levee, with fans excited to see the two massive talents light up the screen when the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom becomes available later this month.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is an adaptation of the play of the same name by August Wilson. The official synopsis from Netflix reads; "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 (Academy Award winner Viola 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 (Chadwick 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."
The movie is already attracting awards buzz for both Davis and Boseman, and the streaming giant knows it has something very special on its hands and are planning to have Boseman's performance recognized by campaigning the late actor for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role category come awards season.
Boseman tragically passed away on August 28 at the age of 43. The much-loved actor and rising star had been secretly battling colon cancer for the last four years and died surrounded by his wife and family. He was laid to rest at Welfare Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, South Carolina, about 11 miles from his hometown of Anderson. Though his career was sadly cut short, the actor had already proven his exceptional talent time and again with outstanding performances in the likes of Black Panther, Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods and the biographical sports drama 42.
Following his passing, Boseman's co-star Viola Davis discussed the actor's legacy, paying tribute to his humility, which continued even after the hugely successful, billion-dollar grossing Marvel movie, Black Panther. "A lot of actors mistake their presence for the event," Davis said. "An actor of Chadwick's status usually comes on and it's their ego who comes on before them: This is what they want, this is what they're not going to do. That was absolutely, 150 percent off the table with Chadwick. He could completely discard whatever ego he had, whatever vanity he had, and welcome Levee in."
Directed by George C. Wolfe and written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is produced by Denzel Washington, Todd Black and Dany Wolf, and stars Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, with Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo and Michael Potts in supporting roles. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will be available to stream on Netflix from December 18. This comes to us courtesy of @strongblacklead.