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Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Starring in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ for Netflix

Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman will star in the movie adaptation of the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Netflix.

George C. Wolfe (“Lackawanna Blues”) will direct from a script by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the award-winning play by August Wilson. Other cast include Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Michael Potts.

Denzel Washington is producing with Todd Black and Dany Wolf. Constanza Romero is executive producing. Academy Award winner Ann Roth is the costume designer and Branford Marsalis has been signed as the composer.

The story centers on Ma Rainey, the pioneering “Queen of the Blues,” during the time she is making a record in a studio in Chicago in 1927 with tensions boiling between her, her white agent and producer and her bandmates. The play won the 1985 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play.

Netflix announced the project on Wednesday. Filming will commence next month in Pittsburgh.

Washington and Davis starred in the 2010 revival of Wilson’s “Fences” on Broadway and both won Tony Awards for their roles. In 2016, Washington directed and starred alongside Davis in the film adaptation of “Fences.” Davis won an Academy Award for her performance.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” opened at Broadway’s Cort Theatre in 1984 with Theresa Merritt in the title role. The remainder of the company featured John Carpenter, Lou Criscuolo, Scott Davenport-Richards, Charles S. Dutton, Leonard Jackson, Robert Judd, Christopher Loomis, Aleta Mitchell and Joe Senaca.

Wolfe is represented by CAA and Paul Hastings. Davis is represented by CAA, Lasher Group and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman Inc. Boseman is repped by Greene & Associates, Management 360, Viewpoint and Ziffren Brittenham.

 

 

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