With Hollywood and the rest of the world still reeling from the loss of Chadwick Boseman Friday night, Netflix has decided to delay a virtual preview of its drama film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” which stars Boseman in what will be the actor’s last on-screen role.
Variety reports that the Netflix event, a Q&A to celebrate the film and the life and work of August Wilson, the writer of the play on which the film is based, has been delayed. Though Boseman wasn’t originally scheduled to appear at the event, which was going to include co-star Viola Davis and director George C. Wolfe, the streaming service has decided to postpone it.
“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,” Netflix said in a statement. “This is an incredible loss. We are canceling 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 said in a statement “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” was scheduled for release later this year, and Boseman had already completed filming for the film, according to his family. Netflix hasn’t announced any changes to the film’s release yet, though it was expected to be a player in this year’s awards season.
The story revolves around the titular “Ma” Rainey, one of the earliest African American professional blues singers, dubbed the “Mother of the Blues,” and her efforts to make a record at a studio in Chicago in the late 1920s, as tensions boil between the singer, her bandmates, and her white agent and producer.