Viola Davis stars alongside Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Netflix has released the first look at Chadwick Boseman’s final on-screen performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The Viola Davis-led drama is based on blues singer Ma Rainey and sees Boseman play Levee, a member of Ma’s band whose ambitions get the better of him during a recording session that envelopes the tribulations and trauma of the Black experience in 1920s Chicago.

Boseman, who died of colon cancer in August at the age of 43 and filmed his scenes for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in 2019, can be seen in three of the four images.

There had been some speculation that Boseman had recorded voice lines for Marvel’s What If series, set to premiere next year on Disney Plus. For now, this appears to be his last acting credit for a career that took in everything from T’Challa to James Brown and Jackie Robinson. He also appeared in Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods earlier this year.

Recently, Disney unveiled a Black Panther-themed mural to Chadwick Boseman and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has paid tribute to his friend and fellow college student in the pages of Marvel’s comics.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is set to stream on Netflix from December 18 – and if you want to read more on Chadwick Boseman, here is our tribute to the actor who brought everything to the screen. On the evidence of the early glimpse at Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, it’s a pattern that’s going to continue across his final bow.

Credit: Bradley Russel (

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