First look at Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman

The film adaptation of August Wilson’s play is available on Netflix from December 18.

Photo credit: (Courtesy of Netflix)

The first images of the upcoming film adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom have been released. Based on August Wilson’s play of the same name, Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman star in the film, set to premiere on Netflix on December 18.

Set in 1920s Chicago, Ma Rainey fights for control of her music. But, when the band’s trumpet player wants to play music more suited to the jazz age, all their careers are in danger.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is one of ten plays in August Wilson’s ‘Pittsburgh Cycle’. Other plays in the cycle include Fences, later adapted into a film in 2016 and nominated for an Academy Award for best new picture.

Viola Davis will play Ma Rainey, previously starring as Maxson in the Broadway production and subsequent film adaptation of Fences. She’s also known for starring in the television series How To Get Away With Murder.

Chadwick Boseman plays Levee. Best known as playing Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Boseman died of colon cancer earlier this year. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom marks his final film, scheduled to be released posthumously.

The cast also includes Glynn Turman as Toledo, Colman Domingo as Cutler, Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Taylour Paige as Dussie Mae, Jonny Coyne as Sturdyvant, Jeremy Shamos as Irvin and Dusan Brown as Sylvester.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is produced by Denzel Washington and directed by George C. Wolfe.


Viola Davis in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Courtesy of Netflix)


Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Courtesy of Netflix)


Viola Davis in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Courtesy of Netflix)


Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Courtesy of Netflix)

Photo credit: (Courtesy of Netflix)