Today, it was officially announced by Netflix that Malcolm Washington’s upcoming film “The Piano Lesson” will include Oscar Winner Samuel L. Jackson (Honorary Award – 2021) (“Pulp Fiction” & “The Avengers“), John David Washington (“BlacKKKlansman” & “Tenet“), Ray Fisher (“Zack Snyder’s Justice League”), Danielle Deadwyler (“Till” & “The Harder They Fall“), Michael Potts (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and the upcoming “Rustin”), and Corey Hawkins (“In The Heights” & “The Tragedy of Macbeth“) as a part of its ensemble cast.
Set in 1936 Pittsburgh during the aftermath of the Great Depression, “The Piano Lesson” follows the lives of the Charles family in the Doaker Charles household and an heirloom, the family piano, which is decorated with designs carved by an enslaved ancestor. Based on the play of the same name by August Wilson, Malcolm Washington has co-screenwriting credit alongside Virgil Williams. Academy Award Winner Denzel Washington and Academy Award Nominee Todd Black are listed as producers, with Constanza Romero, Jennifer Roth, and Katia Washington executive producing.
The Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” starring Samuel L Jackson and John David Washington recently concluded its run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, having played 27 previews and 124 regular performances. The production is the highest-grossing revival of a play on Broadway and the highest-grossing Wilson production on Broadway ever. “The Piano Lesson” is part of Wilson’s ten play “American Century Cycle” and includes “Fences” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
As many will remember, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was released globally on Netflix in 2021. The film received five Academy Award nominations (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Production Design, Best Makeup, and Hairstyling, and Best Costume Design) and two Academy Award wins (Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design). Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film stars Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige, Dusan Brown, Jeremy Shamos and Jonny Coyne.
In 2010 Denzel Washington and Viola Davis starred in the revival of August Wilson’s “Fences” on Broadway. They both won Tony Awards for their roles. In 2016 Washington directed and starred alongside Viola Davis in the film adaptation of “Fences,” which received 3 Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and an Academy Award win for Viola Davis.
What do you think of this new August Wilson project? What are your thoughts on the cast? Did you enjoy “Fences” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom?” Please let us know in the comments section below or over on our Twitter account.
Image credits: Samuel L Jackson – Credit Art Streiber.jpeg, MICHAEL POTTS _ Credit – Celeste Sloman.jpg, Danielle D by Dalvin Adams.jpeg, RayFisher – Photo credit – Imani Khayyam.jpg & JDW- Credit – Dominic Miller.jpg