Netflix has released a trailer for Chadwick Boseman’s final film.
Boseman died in August, aged just 43, following a long and private battle with colon cancer.
The Black Panther actor’s final project, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play, with Viola Davis starring as the titular character.
What is the film about?
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom tells the story of a pioneering blues singer and her conflict with white club owners in 1927 Chicago, during an intense recording session.
Rainey’s band waits in a claustrophobic studio for the arrival of the so-called ‘Mother of Blues’, as trumpeter Levee (played by Boseman) plots his own path in the music industry.
While Rainey engages in a battle with her white manager and producer over creative differences, Levee “spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.”
The film is adapted from one of August Wilson’s ‘Pittsburgh Cycle’ plays, which explore the Black American experience in the 20th century. The play was nominated for Best Play at the 1985 Tony Awards.
Where can I watch the trailer?
The trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is available to watch on YouTube.
Who else stars?
Boseman and Davis are joined by Glynn Turman and Colman Domingo, who play musicians Toledo and Cutler.
Taylour Paige takes on the role of Ma Rainey’s girlfriend Dussie May, who Levee takes a shine to.
Jonny Coyne plays Ma Rainey’s power hungry producer, Sturdyvant, while Jeremy Shamos appears as her manager, Irvin.
Viola Davis on Boseman
A short time before the trailer release, Viola Davis discussed the life of her co-star, Boseman.
Speaking to Zora she said, "He was not chasing the green, not chasing the money, just chasing the work.
"He has a willingness to let go of ego and almost an insistence to leave Chadwick Boseman at the door and leave that Black Panther-making-a-billion-dollars at the door."
Davis explained that she wasn’t aware of his illness.
"He was extremely tired, but there's a lot of tired people in the business - especially people in his position," she said.
"In hindsight, I noticed all the wonderful people he surrounded himself with... I thought that was part of what he demanded or [how he] created that sacred space. I didn't know they were just trying to pour life and energy into him.
"He would just fall asleep standing up, but boy, when that camera rolled? You didn't see any of it."