Hollywood is still reeling from the untimely death of Black Panther and 42 star Chadwick Boseman. His final movie, Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, has now been given a release date and will hit the streaming service later this year on December 18. Along with this, Netflix has also provided our first look at Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom via a handful of images depicting Boseman and co-star Viola Davis in this 1920s Chicago-set drama.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is an adaptation of the play of the same name by August Wilson. The official synopsis from Netflix reads; “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.”
Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away on August 28 at the age of 43. The much-loved actor and rising star had been secretly battling colon cancer for the last four years and died surrounded by his wife and family. He was recently laid to rest at Welfare Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, South Carolina, about 11 miles from his hometown of Anderson.
Academy award-winning actress Viola Davis, who stars in the upcoming drama as the titular Ma Rainey, recently discussed Chadwick Boseman’s passing with the New York Times, paying tribute to the actor’s humility, even following the hugely successful Marvel movie, Black Panther. “A lot of actors mistake their presence for the event,” Davis said. “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. 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.”
Hollywood icon Denzel Washington, who is on board as a producer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, also discussed Boseman with the publication, commending the actor’s performance in the movie, before saying that he is having a hard time dealing with the loss. “He did a brilliant job, and he’s gone. I still can’t believe it,” Washington said.
Netflix has previously shared a statement about Boseman, echoing the feelings of many who cannot believe that an actor of such promise and a human being of such decency could be taken so soon. “We are heartbroken over today’s news of the passing of Chadwick Boseman, a ‘true fighter’ as his family called him in their poignant tribute,” Netflix wrote. “This is an incredible loss. We are canceling Monday’s preview event of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Please join us in sending your thoughts to his family and loved ones.”
Audiences will get to see Boseman in his final film role when Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is released on Netflix this December. This comes to us from the official Netflix Twitter.