Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Trailer Shows Off Chadwick Boseman In His Final Film Role

Chadwick Boseman in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

In late August, actor Chadwick Boseman passed away at age 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer. During his much-too-short time in the public spotlight, Boseman impressed in movies like 42, Get On Up, Marshall and Da 5 Bloods, not to mention his time as Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Boseman is no longer with us, his fans can look forward to one final film performance from him thanks to the Netflix release Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Following a few weeks after Netflix released the first pictures of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the streaming service has now premiered the trailer for the flick starring Viola Davis as Ma Rainey herself and Chadwick Boseman as Levee, a member of the “Mother of the Blues’” band. Take a look!

Set in 1920s Chicago, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom follows an afternoon of the title character’s life, which starts out with her arriving late to a recording session and transitions to her battling over control of her music with her manager. Chadwick Boseman’s Levee certainly doesn’t make things easier, because as the trailer shows, he has his own musical aspirations and is desperately keen for someone to notice his solo talent.

Assuming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a critical hit, it’s possible that the movie could bring awards buzz for Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, akin to Al Pacino and Joe Pesci being recognized for The Irishman earlier this year. While Davis scored an Academy Award for 2016’s Fences and was also nominated for 2008’s Doubt and 2011’s The Help, Boseman never received any Oscars recognition while he was alive. Perhaps there’s a scenario where Boseman posthumously receives the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, just like Heath Ledger did for The Dark Knight on year after his passing.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’s cast also includes Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne and Jeremy Shamos. George C. Wolfe directed the feature, which is based on the same-named play by August Wilson, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson wrote the screenplay. This will be Boseman’s second and final time starring in a Netflix production, with Da 5 Bloods having been released back in June.

Although Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be the last time we see Chadwick Boseman in a movie, it won’t be his last performance ever. Disney+ has the animated Marvel series What If… ? coming soon, and one of the episodes will explore a reality where Boseman’s T’Challa became Star-Lord instead of Black Panther.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be available on Netflix starting December 18. Take a look at what the platform has added so far in October and what else is coming for the remainder of the month with our handy guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.