By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Netflix is teaming with a pair of major stars and assembling an all-star cast for its new film version of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.”
Samuel L. Jackson and John David Washington, who were both in the 2022 Broadway revival, will also headline the film. It is being directed by Malcolm Washington, who is also co-writing the script along with Virgil Williams.
The film is being produced by Denzel Washington and Todd Black.
Netflix made the announcement last week.
“The Piano Lesson” is the fourth play in August Wilson”s Pittsburgh cycle and takes place in 1936. Wilson’s original play spotlights conflicts and issues involving the Charles family, utilizing the piano to cover past and current questions of self-esteem, the impact of slavery and the continuing struggles with racism.
Wilson’s play won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 and has previously been presented in television, film and on Broadway.
The latest edition also stars Ray Fisher, Danielle Deadwyler and Michael Potts.
It is expected to debut on Netflix sometime in 2024, depending on post-production time and scheduling availabilities.
The 1995 TV film starring Charles S. Dutton was directed by Lloyd Richards. Wilson wrote the screenplay.
Jackson’s involvement with “The Piano Lesson” dates back to its original presentation as a production at Yale Repertory Theater in 1987.
He was part of the original cast, and later made his Broadway debut as an understudy in the 1990 version.