The late actor stars opposite Viola Davis in Oscar-tipped August Wilson adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Benjamin Lee – The Guardian
Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Chadwick Boseman as Levee and Colman Domingo as Cutler. Photograph: David Lee/Netflix
Netflix has unveiled the trailer for the late actor Chadwick Boseman’s final movie, Oscar-tipped August Wilson adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The Black Panther star, who died in August at 43, has already been suggested as a contender for a posthumous Oscar for his performance in the film which tells the story of “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey, played by Viola Davis, and her battle for control with her white producer, while recording an album at the end of her career. Boseman plays ambitious trumpeter Levee.
“Not to compete with Chadwick’s mother, but he was my baby,” she said of the actor, having previously played his mother in James Brown biopic Get On Up. “Chadwick was an artist. That is just what he was … he loved it, he demanded it in every single way. For someone so young it was incredible to watch.”
The film is produced by Denzel Washington, who previously directed and starred in Wilson’s adaptation of Fences, which saw Davis win her first Oscar.
“He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career,” Washington said of Boseman, whose tuition to the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program he had once paid.
Boseman died in August of colon cancer as the film was in post-production, choosing not to let others know of his illness while he was making the film.
“I’m looking back at how tired he always seemed,” David said last month. “I look at his beautiful, unbelievable team that was meditating over him and massaging him, and I now realize everything they were trying to infuse in him to keep him going and working at his optimal level. And he received it.”
This year saw Boseman star in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, a role that could also see him receive a posthumous best supporting actor nomination.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be released in selected cinemas in November before Netflix launch in December.