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Netflix is heading into production on a screen adaptation of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Viola Davis, who earned a Tony and later an Oscar for her performance in Wilson’s Fences, will star in the feature, along with Chadwick Boseman. Emmy winner Glynn Turman, Tony and Olivier nominee Colman Domingo and Michael Potts round out the cast.
The story follows Ma Rainey, a famed blues singer, as she makes a record in a studio in 1920s Chicago, where tensions boil over between her, her white agent and producer and the bandmates.
George C. Wolfe — the Tony-winning director whose screen credits include the Oprah Winfrey-starring The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks — will helm the movie, which is set to begin shooting next month in Pittsburgh.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who earned a Tony for his performance in Wilson’s Seven Guitars, will adapt the play for the screen.
Denzel Washington, who directed and starred in the 2016 big-screen adaptation of Fences, will produce the movie, along with Todd Black and Dany Wolf. Constanza Romero, who is Wilson’s widow, will executive produce.
Davis, who is repped by CAA, Lasher Group and Litcher Grossman, was last in theaters with Steve McQueen’s Widows and will next be seen in Amazon Studios’ Troop Zero.
Boseman’s upcoming credits include the STX drama 21 Bridges and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. He is repped by Green & Associates, Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham.
Wolfe is repped by CAA and Paul Hastings; Santiago-Hudson is with Gersh; Domingo is repped by Gersh, Leibman and Schreck Rose; Turman is with SMS and The Rosenzweig Group; and Potts is repped by Blue Ridge.
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