Netflix is honoring the late Chadwick Boseman with a special documentary, titled Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist, releasing on Friday, April 16, and will be available for only 30 days, featuring commentary from some of his closet Hollywood collaborators. Per Netflix, “Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist is an intimate look at the Oscar-nominated actor’s incomparable artistry, and the acting process which informed his transformative performances. Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, George C. Wolfe, Branford Marsalis, Phylicia Rashad, and more take us behind the scenes to explore Boseman’s extraordinary commitment to his craft.”
Boseman is nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor this year thanks to his performance in the Netflix original drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The actor has already won the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Gotham Award, the Critic’s Choice Award, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and he’s also nominated at the Indie Spirit Awards for the role. Boseman died in late August after a four-year battle with colon cancer on August 28, 2020 at the age of 43. The actor never disclosed his cancer diagnosis to costars or to the public and worked through his illness while filming iconic portrayals of Black legends in films like 42, Get On Up, and Marshall, but also Black Panther, 21 Bridges, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
“Wow. It has to be said aloud that for those of us who know Chad intimately, personally, professionally, those he taught, those he gave a word of advice, those who taught him — it is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments,” Chadwick’s wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, said when she accepted his Critic’s Choice award in March. “As proud as we are of him, yes for his work, but even more just for who he is as a person.” Ledward Boseman continued: “He may say something about the importance of this story. About the importance of Black voices telling Black stories. He may take this moment to give honor to August Wilson, one of the greatest playwrights of our time. And, as I recently read, societies grow great when all men plant trees in their shade. They know they may never sit, and our society may be a far cry from great, but I know that the seeds you planted will grow into forests. And one day we too will be tall enough to reach the heavens. Thank you, Critics’ Choice and thank you, Chad.”