Samuel L. Jackson & John David Washington To Star In ‘The Piano Lesson’ For Netflix

The all-star cast for Netflix’s adaptation of August Wilson‘s The Piano Lesson has been revealed. Samuel L. Jackson and John David Washington are signing on to star in the film, which will see them reprise their roles from the recently concluded successful Broadway revival of Wilson’s play.

Set in 1936 Pittsburgh during the aftermath of the Great Depression, The Piano Lesson follows the lives of the Charles family, a household led by Doaker Charles, and an heirloom – the family piano – which is decorated with designs carved by an enslaved ancestor. Washington plays Boy Willie, Doaker’s nephew, a role Jackson originated in the 1987 production.

The film version will be directed by Malcolm Washington from a screenplay he adapted with Virgil Williams. The recent stage production was directed by LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and after 27 previews and 124 regular performances, The Piano Lesson became the highest-grossing revival of a Broadway play.

Denzel Washington will produce, as he did with the adaptations of other parts of Wilson’s American Century Cycle, which include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Fences. Netflix also released the former, while Washington starred in the latter, earning himself an Oscar nomination.

Both of those adaptations got plenty of Oscar buzz, so Netflix will likely hope The Piano Lesson will do so as well. The film will also star Ray Fisher, Danielle Deadwyler, Michael Potts, and Corey Hawkins.

There’s no word yet on when production is scheduled to begin, but expect the film to eventually be released around award season. And if it’s a hit, there’s a good chance we’ll see even more Wilson adaptations hitting the screen.


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