The late Chadwick Boseman’s last film, ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’, is set to hit Netflix this December. We have your first look at the actor in his final movie role.
Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away on August 28 after a long battle with colon cancer, however in his final years he fought through surgeries and chemotherapy treatments to work on seven incredible films. His final movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, is slated to hit Netflix on December 18 and the streaming service has released the first images of Chadwick in his last role.
In the movie, the Black Panther star portrays a horn player for a popular blues singer named Ma Rainey, played by Oscar winner Viola Davis. Set on the backdrop of 1920s Chicago, the film explores racial tensions of the jazz age and focuses on a recording session where Viola’s character butts heads with her White manager over control of her music. Chadwick’s character Levee is also hoping to further his own career, and the drama reaches a climax within the rehearsal room while recording.
The film is adapted by Ruben Santiago-Hudson from Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson‘s 1982 play, inspired by the late “Mother of Blues” Ma Rainey herself. The Help star, Viola Davis, spoke to the New York Times in the wake of Chadwick’s passing about his role in the film. “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,” she began.
“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.” The film’s director George C. Wolfe added, “Everyday we all got to witness the ferocity of his talent and the gentleness of his heart. A truly blessed, loving, gifted and giving human being.”
Chadwick lost his fight with colon cancer on Friday, Aug. 28: a battle he hid from the world for four years. The actor was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 when it was in stage III, and managed to keep fighting for four more years until it reached terminal status in 2020. “It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” his family wrote in a heartbreaking tweet.