Todd Black (‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ producer) on ‘maintaining the theatricality’ of August Wilson [Exclusive Video Interview]

Todd Black (‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ producer) on ‘maintaining the theatricality’ of August Wilson [Exclusive Video Interview]
“It started at a lunch in 1989,” recalls producer Todd Black of his long standing collaboration with Denzel Washington. Back then, Black had just seen “Glory” and was eager to work with the actor. “When you read something that keeps you up at night… call me,” said Washington, “but don’t call me before then.” That project was “Antwone Fisher,” and the pair has kept their “very fruitful, very trusting” relationship going strong. After earning an Oscar nomination for Best Picture with “Fences,” Black is once again producing an August Wilson drama with Washington. This time it’s the music driven “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

Washington’s plan to bring the entirety of Wilson’s ten-play “Century Cycle” to the screen first found a home with HBO, before the deal moved to Netflix. Black admits that with the rise of streaming “we all have to prepare ourselves now,
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