Here’s a First Look at Chadwick Boseman’s Final Role in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…
Here's a First Look at Chadwick Boseman's Final Role in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'
Source: Netflix/New York Times

The Netflix film is an adaptation of August Wilson’s 1984 Broadway play, directed by George C. Wolfe and produced by Denzel Washington.

Images from the set of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom have been unveiled, offering a first glimpse at Chadwick Boseman‘s final role.

They arrive in a brief preview of the film from The New York Times, interviewing members of the cast and crew, including Viola Davis (starring as Blues royal, Ma Rainey) and Denzel Washington (the film’s producer.) In the adaptation of August Wilson’s 1984 Broadway play, Boseman portrays Levee, a seductive and impassioned horn player in Ma Rainey’s band. According to Davis, the late actor brought no ego aboard, despite filming the project on the heels of three consecutive box-office record-setters in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. 

“An actor of Chadwick’s status usually comes on and it’s their ego who comes on before them: This is what they want, this is what they’re not going to do. That was absolutely, 150 percent off the table with Chadwick. He could completely discard whatever ego he had, whatever vanity he had, and welcome Levee in,” Davis noted of Boseman’s presence on-set. She adds how she was entirely unaware of his suffering throughout the production, but that his very personal struggle will take new meaning in his representation of Levee in the film.

Boseman died in August after a quiet four-year battle with colon cancer. In the weeks since his death commemorations and remembrances have poured in from his Marvel collaborators, including Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler, co-star, Lupita Nyong’o, and most recently acclaimed author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who wrote a companion comic to the film.

Scroll through images of Chadwick Boseman’s final role from Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom below. Hold tight for the film’s premiere on December 18th.

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