Netflix Adapting Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman


Netflix Adapting Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Netflix adapting Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

Netflix has announced they’re developing a film adaptation of August Wilson’s Tony Award-nominated play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The streaming service also announced that Academy Award winner Viola Davis and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman have been tapped for the lead roles in the upcoming adaptation with Denzel Washington to serve as a producer. Production will officially begin next month in Pittsburgh.

This project will be the third collaboration between Davis and Washington, who previously worked on the 2010 Broadway revival and 2016 film adaptation of Fences. In addition, Emmy winner Glynn Turman (Mr.Mercedes, How To Get Away With Murder, In Treatment), Colman Domingo (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Michael Potts (Show Me A Hero, True Detective) have joined the cast.

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom film will be directed by Tony winner George C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks). The script will be penned by Ruben Santiago Hudson. Todd Black and Dany Wolf will produce.

The film’s official synopsis reads: “When Ma Rainey, the “Queen of the Blues,” makes a record in a studio in Chicago, 1927, tensions boil between her, her white agent and producer, and bandmates.”

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opened at Broadway’s Cort Theatre in October 1984, playing 276 performances before closing in June 1985 when it earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Play and took home a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)