Two months after his shocking death, Chadwick Boseman‘s commanding talent and screen presence comes to Netflix in the first trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Chadwick Boseman stars alongside Academy Award winner Viola Davis in the adaptation of playwright August Wilson‘s celebrated 1982 work. The play, and its subsequent film adaptation, follows the “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey, as tensions between the fiery singer and her band begin to rise during a recording session in 1927 Chicago.
Of course, all eyes will be on the dearly departed talent Chadwick Boseman, who appears throughout the trailer as Levee, a hungry young trumpet player with new ideas for Ma Rainey and her band. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is Chadwick’s final film role, following his tragic death on August 28. The actor, who was consistently praised throughout his career for his larger-than-life performances in films like 42, Marshall, and Black Panther, died at the age of 43 after a four-year-long battle with colon cancer.Following the young actor’s death, his Ma Rainey cast members and coworkers mourned his loss. “He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career,” a rep for Denzel Washington, who produces the Netflix vehicle, previously shared with HollywoodLife in a statement. “God bless Chadwick Boseman.”
Chadwick’s loss was felt throughout Hollywood and the world roughly two months ago. From his Black Panther co-stars, to tributes from young fans, the actor, who never publicly discussed his private struggle, clearly touched so many lives with his immense talent and the way he used his platform. Although he is dearly missed, audiences will see Chadwick’s ineffable talent one last time on the screen in this latest presentation of the Tony-nominated play.The film adaptation is directed by George C. Wolfe, and is produced by Oscar winner Denzel Washington. Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time Denzel or Viola are connected to an adaptation August Wilson’s vital work. In 2016, the two actors starred alongside one another in the cinematic iteration of Fences, another play written by August Wilson. The film went on to earn four Oscar nominations, earning Viola Davis her first Oscar for acting — winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2017 ceremony.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom hits Netflix December 18.