Netflix is set to produce an adaptation of the critically acclaimed play The Piano Lesson, which recently featured on Broadway and featured Samuel L. Jackson and John David Washington.
The movie will be directed by Malcolm Washington, for whom The Piano Lesson will be his directorial debut. Previously he was a second unit director on The Last Bookstore and The Trouble Man. The script is co-written by Malcolm Washington and Virgil Williams (Mudbound, 24, Criminal Minds).
The Piano Lesson is produced by Denzel Washington and Katia Washington, along with Todd Black.
Netflix first announced it was adapting the August Wilson play in March 2021. It’s their second August Wilson adaptation following Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which scored Netflix two Oscars following its release in late 2021.
The next August Wilson adaptation is officially coming to Netflix — THE PIANO LESSON, from the producers of MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM. pic.twitter.com/gXlGVxhdLU
— Netflix Tudum (@NetflixTudum) March 10, 2021
What’s the plot of The Piano Lesson?
Netflix’s The Piano Lesson is based on the 1987 play of the same name written by August Wilson to high critical and audience acclaim. It was nominated for multiple Tony Awards, and Wilson won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990.
The play was already adapted into a movie in 1995 and starred Charles S. Dutton, Alfre Woodard, Carl Gordon, and more.
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.
The play recently returned to Broadway, dubbed the “event of the season,” with the final broadway performance on January 29th, 2023. It held its opening night in October 2022 and has had rave reviews from critics and audiences like.
Here’s the plot synopsis for Netflix’s The Piano Lesson:
“At the heart of the story stands the ornately carved upright piano which, as the Charles family’s prized, hard-won possession, has been gathering dust in the parlor of Berniece Charles’s Pittsburgh home. When Boy Willie, Berniece’s exuberant brother, bursts into her life with his dream of buying the same Mississippi land that his family had worked as slaves, he plans to sell their antique piano for the hard cash he needs to stake his future. But Berniece refuses to sell, clinging to the piano as a reminder of the history that is their family legacy. This dilemma is the real “piano lesson,” reminding us that blacks are often deprived both of the symbols of their past and of opportunity in the present.”
Who is cast in The Piano Lesson?
No cast members have been confirmed for the Netflix movie thus far, officially.
It’s unclear whether Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington or Danielle Brooks will feature as they did in the recent Broadway show.
We do know a casting call was issued for a number of roles back in late February 2023 including for Maretha, Grace, Boy Charles, Dolly, Crawley, Sutter, Young Boy Willie, Mama Ola, and Miss Ophelia.
What’s the production status of The Piano Lesson?
Netflix’s The Piano Lesson is currently in pre-production, with filming being eyed for April 17th, 2023, start. Production is to take place primarily in Atlanta, US.
What’s the Netflix release date for The Piano Lesson?
Netflix hasn’t announced the release date for The Piano Lesson, but given its potential April 2023 filming start, it would stand to reason to assume that the movie will be released sometime in the second half of 2024.
Are you looking forward to watching The Piano Lesson on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!