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Viola Davis, Colman Domingo and more to star in Netflix's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

Ma Rainey and her band



Netflix is teaming up with Denzel Washington for the film adaptation of the August Wilson classic—Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The project will be produced by the Oscar winning actor along with direction from Tony Award nominee George C. Wolfe and starring Oscar winning actress and Tony Award winner Viola Davis, Tony Award nominee Colman Domingo and Black Panther icon Chadwick Boseman.


According to the press release, the story will focus on Ma Rainey recording a record in 1927 Chicago, when tension erupts between her, her white agent and producer and bandmates.


Credit Colman Domingo/Instagram
(l to r) Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Viola Davis and Colman Domingo

The film will also feature the amazing talents of Glynn Turman and Michael Potts. Jazz icon Branford Marsalis will serve as the film’s musical composer while Tony Award winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson will pen the story.


The original theatrical production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opened at Broadway’s Cort Theatre in October 1984 and played 276 performances before closing in June 1985. The Wiz and That’s My Mama star Theresa Merritt portrayed the “Mother of the Blues” alongside iconic actors Charles S. Dutton and Joe Seneca. The play was later revived in 2003 starring Dutton and the fabulous Whoopi Goldberg.


“I am beyond grateful to join this masterful film adaptation of one of my favorite August Wilson plays with these incredible artists,” said Colman Domingo in a statement. “Truly we are our ancestors wildest dreams.”


Ray Cornelius is one of Atlanta’s newest entertainment writers and media personalities. His arts and entertainment website, www.raycornelius.com spotlights the latest in “positive” African-American celebrity news and was established in 2012. Since that time Cornelius has covered a myriad of red carpet premieres, award shows and Atlanta-based films including Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The BronzeLens Film Festival, The Trumpet Awards, and The Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards just to name a few. He has also interviewed a who’s who list of today’s top singers, actors and reality stars. With nearly 20 years of media experience, Cornelius has also worked as an associate producer for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, ATL Insider and with such award shows as The Soul Train Awards, The Trumpet Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.