Chadwick Boseman was positively prolific before he died this summer from a largely secret battle with colon cancer, but the tragic inevitability of an artist dying too soon—even a prolific one like Boseman—is that eventually we’re going to run out of new things from them. That brings us to Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, George C. Wolfe’s adaptation of the August Wilson play of the same name, which happens to be the last thing Boseman filmed before his death. That’s sad, but at least this looks like it has the potential to be a big deal: In addition to Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom also stars Viola Davis (as Rainey, the legendary Blues singer), Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, Dusan Brown, and Taylour Paige. The plot centers around a dramatic recording session in ‘20s Chicago where both Rainey and Boseman’s character (a musician trying to make it on his own) have to reckon with the white recording executives trying to claim ownership over the work of Black artists. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be on Netflix (and in “select theaters,” apparently, which means this is getting an awards push) on December 18.
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