When Chadwick Boseman passed in August 2020, it came as a shock to the Hollywood community and fans around the world. The late Black Panther actor chose to keep his four-year battle with colon cancer private as he became a Marvel superhero. Throughout his career, he has also delivered an unforgettable round of performances such as Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. Boseman’s work as an actor is now being honored through a Netflix documentary.
The trailer for the streaming service’s special Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist sets up the documentary by sharing some interviews with some of his Hollywood collaborators. The movie looks to be focusing on his career in terms of what he brought to a movie set and how knowing him impacted his peers. The 90-second trailer features a handful of actors, such as his Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom co-star Viola Davis, who says this about Boseman:
You know you have to step up when you’re in his presence. He’s looking at your work and he’s really hyper focused on the craft, on the process. That’s Chad.
Viola Davis also worked with the actor on 2014’s Get On Up as James Brown’s mother. She apparently would always call Chadwick Boseman her “baby” after working with him on the biopic. The actors are now being recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their leading roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories, respectively.
At the Golden Globes, Chadwick Boseman nabbed a posthumous award for the Netflix movie in the Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama category. During the ceremony, Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, delivered a heartfelt speech in his name. The movie from George C. Wolfe is nominated for five Oscars ahead of the late April ceremony.
Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist looks like it will offer an inside look into his performance in the Blues film, as Glynn Turman and Taylour Paige, along with director George C. Wolfe and composer, arranger and music producer Branford Marsalis, are all involved in the documentary. Additionally, Danai Gurira of his Black Panther family said this in the trailer:
He’s thinking about every part of the world he’s in. And how it all becomes the truth.
Along with the Okoye actress, Chadwick Boseman’s dialect coach Andile Nebulane is also involved in the film. Ryan Coogler is currently preparing to start filming Black Panther 2 this summer without Boseman, nor casting his replacement. The writer/director has opened up about the hole that will be left behind without Boseman, and some fans have called for the actor to be recast in order for the Marvel character's legacy to live on following Boseman's passing.
Portrait of an Artist will also reportedly feature Spike Lee, Denzel Washington and Phylicia Rashad when the documentary hits Netflix on Saturday, April 17. The movie will only be available on the streaming service for a 30-day window. Boseman will also be up for his post-humorous Oscar on April 25 during the 93rd Academy Awards.