After a wildly successful revival on Broadway, The Piano Lesson is making its way to our screens. Netflix announced today that it has gathered a star-studded cast in order to bring the story together one more time. Led by Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel’s Secret Invasion) and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), the story will center around a family who is at odds about what to do with a piano that was carved by an enslaved ancestor.
Aside from Jackson and Washington, the streaming giant also announced that the cast will feature Ray Fisher (Zack Snyder’s Justice League), Danielle Deadwyler (The Harder They Fall), Michael Potts (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton). Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth), who has a history with Broadway adaptations, is also on board as producer.
The Piano Lesson Has a Great Team Behind the Scenes
The Piano Lesson will be directed by Malcolm Washington, who recently worked alongside none other than Spike Lee on the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It. Washington himself is adapting the story for the screen, and he’s co-writing it with Academy Award nominee Virgil Williams. Aside from being a prolific producer, Williams also penned the script of several episodes of the highly acclaimed TV series 24 and Criminal Minds. He made his feature film screenwriting debut with Mudbound, which earned him the Oscar nomination.
Williams and Washington’s selection of protagonists is far from a shot in the dark. Not only because Jackson and Washington are known for their undisputed talents, but also because the duo has starred in the Broadway revival at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. They did 27 previews and 124 regular performances, and The Piano Lesson play became the highest-grossing Broadway revival, and the most successful title based on playwright August Wilson’s work ever.
Netflix Has a History of Stage Adaptations
Netflix has already overseen a production based on August Wilson‘s productions: Viola Davis-led Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was also based on his play and became one of the streamer’s most acclaimed titles. It earned acting nominations for Davis and Chadwick Boseman (posthumously). Should The Piano Lesson follow the footsteps of previous adaptations, we could be looking at a big awards-season contender in the making.
Netflix is yet to reveal further details from The Piano Lesson, including additional cast members and an expected release date.
You can remember Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with the trailer below:
Check out the official synopsis for The Piano Lesson here:
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.