After Chadwick Boseman’s Death, Netflix Delays Virtual Event For His Final Film

Chadwick Boseman as Andre Davis in 21 Bridges (2019)

The world is still reeling from the news that Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away at the age of 43 following a years-long battle with colon cancer. At this point in time, many are taking the time to celebrate Boseman’s life and the stunning work art he created over the course of his career. The late actor is, however, slated to appear in one more film and, in the wake of his death, Netflix has had to delay an event pertaining to the project.

Netflix announced that it is postponing a virtual event for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which is set to feature Chadwick Boseman’s final film performance. In a statement (via Deadline), the streamer announced the news and extended condolences to Boseman’s loved ones:

We are heartbroken over today’s news of the passing of Chadwick Boseman, a ‘true fighter’ as his family called him in their poignant tribute. This is an incredible loss. We are cancelling Monday’s preview event of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Please join us in sending your thoughts to his family and loved ones.

Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos also praised Chadwick Boseman, calling him “a superhero on screen and in life”:

Chadwick was a superhero on screen and in life, and it’s impossible to imagine working at the level he has while valiantly battling his illness. His legacy as a person and an artist will inspire millions. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is based on the August Wilson play of the same name and takes place in 1927 Chicago during an afternoon recording session. Titular jazz singer Ma Rainey (played by Viola Davis) arrives late to the session and gets into a heated debate with her producer and her manager – both of whom are white – as they seek to take control of her music.

Chadwick Boseman is set to play the role of Levee, an ambitious trumpet player who pushes his bandmates into an “eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.”

The film is directed by George C. Wolfe from an adapted script by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Denzel Washington and Todd Black are producing. Washington, who actually helped pay for Chadwick Boseman’s education as an actor, also spoke highly of the late actor in a statement:

He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist,who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman.

As we continue to mourn Chadwick Boseman, it goes without saying that Netflix made a wise decision in delaying the event. With everything that’s happened, It may be a while before the film sees the light of day, but you can bet we will eventually get to view Boseman’s last performance in its entirety.

We here at CinemaBlend continue to extended our thoughts and condolences to Chadwick Boseman’s loved ones at this time.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.