First Look: Viola Davis & Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Oh my, I see that Actor Chadwick Boseman did a film for Netflix called, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom may he RIP!  The movie is scheduled to be released on December 18th, 2020. It takes place in the 1927, in Chicago, Illinois.  He plays an ambitious trumpet player by the name of Levee. He has an eye for Ma’s(Viola Davis) girlfriend and has dreams of breaking into the music industry! This movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play.  take a peek of some images that was just released and more information about the film, also check back for the trailer.

  • The film is inspired by August Wilson’s play of the same name, which debuted
    at the Cort Theatre on Broadway in 1984 and was the second in a series of ten plays known as ‘The American Century Cycle’. The play won ‘Best American Play’ at the New York Drama Circle Critics’ Awards for the 1984/5 season.
  • ✦  An incredible team of filmmakers brought this story to life on screen:
    • Directed by five-time Tony® Award winner and DGA Award winnerGeorge C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks).
    • Produced by Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, Academy Awardnominee Todd Black and Dany Wolf.
    • Executive Produced by Constanza Romero (Giving Voice).
    • Screenplay by Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Lackawanna Blues).

  • With costume design by Academy Award-winning costume designer Ann Roth (The English Patient).
  • And production design by Emmy®-nominated production designer Mark Ricker (Escape from Dannemora, Bombshell, Trumbo).
  • Academy Award nominee Andrew Mondshein (The Sixth Sense) edited the film.
  • Cinematography by Tobias Schliessler (A Wrinkle in Time, Dreamgirls).
  • With the exception of Ma Rainey’s original songs, the film’s music was created by renowned saxophonist, composer, bandleader, music historian and Executive Music Producer Branford Marsalis.

✦ Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ s powerhouse ensemble cast includes:

  • Academy Award winner Viola Davis (Widows, Fences) as Ma Rainey.
  • Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up, Black Panther) as Levee.
  • Emmy Award winner Glynn Turman (In Treatment, How to Get Away with Murder) as Toledo.
  • Tony and Olivier Award nominee Colman Domingo (If Beale Street Could Talk) as Cutler.
  • Michael Potts (Show Me A Hero, True Detective, The Wire) as Slow Drag.
  • Taylour Paige (Zola, Hit The Floor) as Dussie Mae.
  • Dusan Brown (42) as Sylvester.

The film is about the trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award winner Viola Davis) as she engages in a battle of wills with her white management and ambitious horn player, Levee, over control of her music during a recording session in 1920s Chicago. It is also about the war between Ma’s ambitious horn player Levee and the future he envisions versus the past he cannot escape.

  • ✦  The film explores the consequences of the Great Migration, particularly what was lost when Black people left the rural south for the urban north.
  • ✦  Much of the story takes place during one hot summer afternoon. Rainey has come north to Chicago to record music and has brought with her four musicians. One of them is Levee, a very ambitious young man who is determined to stake his claim on the music industry.
  • ✦  Rainey is the only real person Wilson ever wrote into one of his plays and the only LGBTQ character. Wilson’s work overall was said to have been heavily influenced by the blues.

This is not a biopic. While inspired by real life figure Ma Rainey, the film and the play are fiction.

  • ✦  Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom producer Denzel Washington, previously starred in, produced and directed the 2016 film adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fences. Washington and Viola Davis reprised their roles from the 2010 revival of the play that earned both actors Tony Awards. The film adaptation was written by Wilson and appeared on numerous 2016 top film lists, ultimately winning Davis the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ Academy Award and Golden Globe. The film also received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (August Wilson) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Denzel Washington).
  • ✦  Davis has a long connection to August Wilson – she was also nominated for
    a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in Seven Guitars. And she won a Tony Award for her role as Tanya in Wilson’ King Hedley. ✦


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.
Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth. Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film is produced by Fences Oscar® nominees Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown co-star alongside Grammy® winner Branford Marsalis’ score.

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