Though his career was tragically cut short, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman had already proven his exceptional talent time and again. Well, Netflix is planning to have his talents recognized by campaigning the late actor for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role category for his role in the upcoming drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The movie is an adaptation of the play of the same name by August Wilson. The official synopsis from Netflix reads; “Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey (Academy Award winner Viola Davis).
Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) – who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry – spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.”
Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away on August 28 at the age of 43. The much-loved actor and rising star had been secretly battling colon cancer for the last four years and died surrounded by his wife and family. He was recently laid to rest at Welfare Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, South Carolina, about 11 miles from his hometown of Anderson.
Academy award-winning actress Viola Davis, who stars in the upcoming drama as the t**ular Ma Rainey, recently discussed Chadwick Boseman’s passing with the New York Times, paying tribute to the actor’s humility, even following the hugely successful Marvel movie, Black Panther. “A lot of actors mistake their presence for the event,” Davis said. “An actor of Chadwick’s status usually comes on and it’s their ego who comes on before them: This is what they want, this is what they’re not going to do. That was absolutely, 150 percent off the table with Chadwick. He could completely discard whatever ego he had, whatever vanity he had, and welcome Levee in.”
Boseman will also have his scene-stealing role in director Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods considered for Oscars Best Actor award in a Supporting Role. Da 5 Bloods follows a squad of Black US Army soldiers during the Vietnam War and in present day, with Boseman’s powerful performance as squad leader “Stormin'” Norman Earl Holloway standing as a testament to the actor’s remarkable ability that was sadly extinguished far too soon.
Should Boseman be nominated for best actor, he would be the first posthumous nominee in the category since respected performer Massimo Troisi received a nomination for the comedy-drama Il Postino in 1994. If nominated for supporting actor for Da 5 Bloods, Boseman would be just the third person to do so in Oscar history, and the first since Heath Ledger won the award for 2008’s The Dark Knight.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is scheduled to be released on Netflix on December 18th. The Netflix campaign for Boseman’s work in the movie was confirmed via Variety.