Netflix Pauses Preview of Chadwick Boseman’s Final Film Ma Rainey’s Black Backside


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a new movie starring Chadwick Boseman that will debut exclusively on Netflix sometime in the last half of 2020. Following the death of Chadwick Boseman this past Friday, Netflix has decided to delay a special preview for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Though the streaming giant insists that the movie will still be released this year. They have not provided a premiere date at this time.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom centers around a 1920s blues singer. The virtual preview was set for this Monday, but in the wake of Boseman’s passing, Netflix decided to cancel the event and hold it at a later date. The streamer did not issue a new date for the preview, only offering this message to family and friends.

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“Please join us in sending your thoughts to his family and loved ones.”

Netflix co-chief executive and chief content officer Ted Sarandos went onto to say some nice words about Chadwick Boseman, who died from colon cancer.

“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.”

The Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom preview is being held out of respect to the late actor, his family and friends. Viola Davis leads the movie as Ma, which is based on two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play. The story tracks an intense recording session as a group of Chicago musicians await their singer. The runtime takes place over the course of one afternoon.

Ma Rainey spends the movie locked in battle over control of her music as she fights with her white manager and producer. Chadwick Boseman is playing the key role of trumpeter Levee. Throughout the course of the movie, Levee encourages his fellow musicians to share stories that will inevitably change the course of their lives. George C. Wolfe directed the movie. Denzel Washington and Todd Black are producing. This will be the final movie for Chadwick Boseman, and the second Netflix film following his appearance in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, which was released this summer. Co-star Colman Domingo had this to say on Instagram about his departed friend.

“My friend Chad is on the far left. We created something beautiful together. His last film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The film wrestles with God. We wrestled with August Wilson’s text. We wrestled with music. We wrestled with faith. We shared such a loving brotherhood since the first time we did a reading together many moons ago at New York Stage and Film. Each time I always thought, he was such a shy, cool, kinda strange intellectual brother. Knowing him on the journey of Ma was a true gift. I will miss him and honor his incredible legacy that he built in 43 years. Goodnight friend.”

Upon news of his death, many learned for the first time that Chadwick Boseman had privately been fighting Stage 3 colon cancer, which he was diagnoses with in 2016. That same year he made his debut in Marvel Studios blockbuster Captain America: Civil War playing iconic superhero Black Panther. He would go onto get his own solo Black Panther movie while also appearing in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

While Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is Chadwick Boseman’s final movie, he had already set out to appear in a samurai action movie called Yasuke, which he was also going to produce. He was also set to return in Black Panther 2, which had not started production yet.

Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 29, 2020

It was announced earlier today that WarnerMedia network TBS will screen Black Panther tonight, Saturday, August 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, 8 p.m. ET/PT. This news first appeared at The Los Angeles Times.

Contributing writer for Movieweb since 2001. Owns a dog who loves watching Milo and Otis on repeat.


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