See Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in First Look at Netflix’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

“Black Panther” star’s final film is based on an August Wilson play

Last Updated: September 30, 2020 @ 4:35 PM

Chadwick Boseman’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” will be released by Netflix on Dec. 18, the streamer announced on social media Thursday.

Additionally, Netflix also released the following stills from the movie which is the “Black Panther” star’s final film.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom 2 Chadwick Boseman

Netflix

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Chadwick Boseman

Netflix

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Chadwick Boseman

Netflix

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Chadwick Boseman

Netflix

Adapted from August Wilson’s award-winning play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the film is set in 1920’s Chicago and deals with issues of race, art, religion and the exploitation of black recording artists by white producers. The play takes place in a Chicago recording studio where Ma Rainey’s band players Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag and Levee gather to record a new album of her songs. As they wait for her to arrive they tell stories, joke, philosophize and argue. Tensions begin to boil between Ma Rainey, her white agent and producer and her bandmates.

The film also stars Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman and Michael Potts. Multiple Tony Award-winner George C. Wolfe (“Lackawanna Blues,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”) directed the film from a script adapted by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Denzel Washington produced, alongside Todd Black and Dany Wolf.

Chadwick Boseman, the actor best known for playing Black Panther in four Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, died in late August of cancer. He was 43.

According to a family statement, he was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled the disease over the last four years as it advanced to Stage IV.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement read. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

His last on-screen role was in Spike Lee’s film “Da 5 Bloods,” where he played the “Stormin” Norman Earl Holloway, the leader of a group of Black army soldiers in the Vietnam War. The film premiered in June on Netflix.