viola davis

5 Films That Were Historical Fiction Books First

Thankfully, there are some movies out there that do the book justice. These five films are incredibly popular, and there is a successful book behind each one.

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Denzel Washington to Produce Netflix Adaptation of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

The feature adaptation of the play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is coming to Netflix! Viola Davis, most famous for her role in Fences, is set to star alongside Glynn Turnman, Colman Domingo, Chadwick Boseman, and Michael Potts. Denzel Washington has been officially confirmed as the producer. Although the adaptation was initially set for release on HBO, the deal has since moved over to Netflix.





Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is originally written by August Wilson. The play is set in Chicago in the late 1920s, tackling issues of race and religion, as well as the exploitation of black recording artists by white producers.


Image Via Variety


According to Deadline, it was always Washington’s proposition to produce the Wilson play rather than starring or directing. It was arranged to be the next Wilson adaptation after Fences, which grossed around $65 million. Given the success of the source material, the adaptation is sure to be a smashing success.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuted on Broadway in 1984, showing 276 performances before eventually closing in 1985. It was nominated for a Tony award and won the 1984 New York Drama Critics Circle Award. The play was also revived in 2003 and starred Whoopi Goldberg.



It’s great to see Davis and Washington working together on a project once again, as in the past they proved to be capable of creating incredible performances. In 2010, they both starred in a Broadway adaptation of Wilson’s play Fences and each received Tony awards, demonstrating their remarkable creative synchronicity. They also worked together in the film adaptation of the same play, in which Davis won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The movie also was nominated three times.

This adaptation will pair Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for the third time working on a piece by August Wilson. Production will begin next month in Pittsburgh.




Featured Image Via Shortlist. 


Viola Davis to Pen Sequel to Childhood Classic ‘Corduroy’

There are so many treasured children’s books that are classics and staples in the homes of families around the world. At 27-years-old, I can still remember the delight I felt reading books like The Giving Tree or The Velveteen Rabbit and of course of course Corduroy, the story of a teddy bear searching for his lost button, written by Don Freeman in 1968. Today, the popular Corduroy is getting a sequel penned by actress Viola Davis.


Viola Davis

Image Via caaspeakers


Davis explains that the original book was so important to her growing up because the little girl who befriends Corduroy, Lisa, is African American. Davis goes on to say that this was integral to her development because at the time it was so rare to find a children’s book that featured a character of color. Growing up in an extremely poor household, finding a book that she could identify with was very important to her, and helped to shape her into the role model she is today.



Image Via Bella Naija


Viola Davis has won several major awards including Tony awards, BAFTA awards, and most recently an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 2017 movie Fences. Her book is entitled Corduroy Takes a Bow, and it brings Lisa and the titular Corduroy to the theater where the bear goes off to explore backstage before inevitably ending up on stage himself. The book is written by Davis, illustrated by Jody Wheeler, and is set to be released on September 4th, 2018, coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the original book by Don Freeman. 


In a world where diversity can oftentimes be met with anxiety and defensiveness, we should embrace the celebration of differences that Davis and many other talents hope to bestow upon society. Davis goes on to say that a truth she holds important is the fact that when our bodies fade away, all that we have left is the mark and impression left by us on this world. Needless to say, Davis’s book will hopefully be as influential and inspiring to young readers as the original was for her. Perhaps in another fifty years we will see another Viola Davis charm the world citing this as their inspiration! 



Image Via Fatherly


Feature Image Via dibblyfresh1.blogspot

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Award Winning Actress Viola Davis Is Writing ‘Corduroy’ Sequel

The actress responsible for bringing some drama to our Thursday nights with her scandalous show How To Get Away With Murder is putting aside the smoking guns and legal pads and is picking up a pen to write a children’s book! 


Davis will be writing a sequel to the beloved children’s classic Corduroy, which will be released by Viking Children’s Books in September 2018.


Titled Corduroy Takes A Bow, the picture book will portray the adorable fluffy character’s first trip to the theater. Davis is certainly no stranger to the stage, having won two Tony Awards for her theatrical performances in August Wilson’s King Hedley II (2001) and Fences (2010). She has also performed in other plays including As You Like It (1992), Seven Guitars (1996), and Intimate Apparel (2004). 


Davis will be able to use her first hand experience to communicate the awe and impression of the theater world to younger (and older) audiences.


In a press release Davis stated:


Corduroy has always held a special place in my life, first as a child paging through it, and then again with my daughter, introducing her to the adventures of that adorable teddy bear. I am honored and excited by the chance to continue the story that Don Freeman started 50 years ago.


Featured Image Via Graeme Mitchell / Amazon