Chadwick Boseman’s last movie sees him doing what he did best — disappearing into inspiring characters.
The late actor, who died at 43 on August 28 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer, stars alongside Viola Davis in Netflix’s upcoming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The film marks the beloved actor’s last time appearing on the screen.
Netflix released the first trailer for the film on Monday, showing Boseman in his lively last role as troubled trumpet player Levee as he bets on his talent for his own spot in the music world. The movie takes place in 1927 Chicago and explores the racial tension in the music world as white record executives profited off of Black artists.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is based on August Wilson’s 1982 play about the “Mother of Blues” Ma Rainey (Davis) and her experience with white management at the time. The trailer shows how Davis’s Ma becomes a big star while Boseman’s Levee thinks he deserves every bit of the spotlight.
The film was adapted by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and produced by Todd Black and Denzel Washington, who once paid for Boseman and some of his Howard University classmates to attend acting school at Oxford University.
Washington spoke to the New York Times last month about Boseman’s performance in the film, saying the actor “did a brilliant job, and he’s gone. I still can’t believe it.”