The First Look Shots from Chadwick Boseman's Last Film, 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom', Are Here

Tom Nicholson
·1-min read
Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix
Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix

From Esquire

We've just got sight of shots from Chadwick Boseman's final film, a period drama in which Boseman will play a charismatic but conflicted trumpeter.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is the last film which Boseman completed in his lifetime, and co-stars Viola Davis as Ma Rainey, also known as the Mother of the Blues.

Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix
Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix

It's directed by Broadway veteran George C Wolfe, who also put together The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and is based on August Wilson's play originally staged in 1982. Set in 1927, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom follows a group of musicians waiting for Rainey to arrive at their Chicago rehearsal room.

As they chat, bicker and philosophise, uncomfortable truths come out. Boseman plays Levee, a hot-headed young man who wants to get his own band off the ground.

Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix
Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix

Ma Rainey was one of the first blues artists and black women to record her work, right at the dawn of commercial recordings. Her songs are full of references to her being bisexual or a lesbian, and they were championed again in the Seventies by a new wave of fans.

Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix
Photo credit: David Lee - Netflix

Boseman died on 28 August of colon cancer aged 43, having lived with it and continued working for the previous four years.

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