Netflix has officially released the first photos for Chadwick Boseman's last onscreen appearance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Last month, the world was stunned when Boseman passed away at age 43 following a four year battle with colon cancer. Boseman received countless tributes online from fans, co-stars, directors, and everyone in between. Best known for playing King T'Challa, aka Black Panther, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Boseman also received great acclaim for playing a variety of Black icons. Since the news of his passing, fans have clung to his final onscreen appearance as one last thing to look forward to.
An adaptation of the August Wilson play of the same name, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom also stars Viola Davis and was directed by George C. Wolfe. A little actor named Denzel Washington also produced. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom centers on the band for legendary blues artist Ma Rainey (Davis) as they wait for her to arrive for their recording session. Boseman plays trumpet player Levee, who has his own goals and ambitions. Even before Boseman's passing, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was considered an early Oscar contender.
Netflix has released the first images for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, as well as the film's release date. Fans can expect it to drop on Netflix on December 18, over two months from now. The images put a spotlight on both Boseman and Davis while giving a peek at the film's overall look. Check them out down below.
In terms of awards prospects, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom has a lot going for it. The last time an August Wilson play was adapted into a feature film, 2016's Fences, it scored four Oscar nominations. One of those even translated to a win for Davis. Some wonder if this could lead to a posthumous nomination for Boseman, which, tragic as it is, would also be a fitting way to honor his last performance. It'll depend on how the awards season pans out.
All that aside, though, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will gain a lot of attention purely because of Boseman's presence. It's still hard to believe there won't be any new performances him beyond this film, so many viewers will hopefully take this opportunity to appreciate what it provides. Somehow, it's also fitting that Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, a Black story through-and-through, will be Boseman's final film, since he spent so much of his career elevating Black voices. For those who miss Boseman, they'll get the chance to see him again just in time for the holidays when Ma Rainey's Black Bottom premieres in December.