Boseman died of cancer earlier this year.
The film is directed by George C Wolfe and features Viola Davis (as the protagonist Ma Rainey), Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts among the others. The film is an adaptation of August Wilson’s play by the same name.
The film revolves around Ma Rainey, one of the first generation Blues singers to record. The film is produced by Todd Black, Denzel Washington, and Dany Wolf. Ruben Santiago-Hudson is the screenwriter.
Blues is a musical form that was introduced by the African-Americans with roots in African musical traditions. It includes spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom of 1927, is one of the hundred recordings that she made. Set in Chicago, the musicians grapple with issues of race, music, relationships, and the exploitation of black music artists.
According to Variety, Boseman portrayed Ma’s band member Levee, an ambitious trumpeter who aspired to make his own mark in the Chicago music scene by putting a contemporary spin on old-fashioned songs.
“Chadwick was just an artist. That’s just who he was,” Davis told Variety.
“I don’t know that people understand the absolute impact of that statement. We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready. They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He loved it. He demanded it. he demanded it in every single way,” she said.
In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer which eventually progressed to stage 4, his family revealed after his death. Although he never spoke publicly about his diagnosis, he worked throughout his treatment for much of his film career.
According to the Variety report, Netflix is likely to push for a posthumous Oscar nomination for Boseman in the supporting actor category. The late actor may also have another Oscar contender with Spike Lee from Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods. If he were nominated twice, Boseman would become the first actor with two posthumous acting nods, reported Variety.
While the film will have a theatrical release in selected ones in November, it will have a worldwide release on Netflix on December 18.