Samuel L. Jackson and John David Washington - Netflix feature film adaptation of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson
Samuel L. Jackson (Netflix) and John David Washington (Tenet – Melinda Sue Gordon)

Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, Ray Fisher, Danielle Deadwyler, Michael Potts, and Corey Hawkins will star in The Piano Lesson, directed by Malcolm Washington and based on the play ‘The Piano Lesson’ by August Wilson.

The Piano Lesson is part of Wilson’s 10 play “American Century Cycle” and includes Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

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 documents the family history through carvings made by their enslaved ancestor.

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.

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.

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.

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