Entertainment

Chadwick Boseman: What to watch to pay tribute a year after his death

Chadwick Boseman’s performances outside Black Panther saw him Oscar-nominated and playing real people (Picture: Rex/Marvel Studios)

It’s been one year since Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer at the age of 43, with his Marvel co-star Lupita Nyong’o sharing an emotional tribute to mark the anniversary of his death.

The star chose to keep his cancer battle private after receiving his diagnosis in 2016, which meant, as confirmed by his family, several of his later movie appearances were filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy’.

However, the actor delivered several outstanding performances in his final films, culminating in a posthumous Oscar nomination for best actor at the 2021 awards.

Below is a round-up of some of the best Chadwick Boseman films to see the actor in, from his earlier days to 2021.

Da 5 Bloods

Boseman was directed by Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods (Picture: Backgrid)

A Spike Lee film about four aging Vietnam veterans who return to the country to search for the remains of their squadron leader as well as treasure they buried, Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis and Isiah Whitlock lead the cast as the vets, while Boseman features in flashbacks as their squadron leader, ‘Stormin’’ Norman Earl Holloway.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release on Netflix in June 2020, where it is currently available to watch.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Boseman (centre) plays an overconfident trumpet player (Picture: Netflix/Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock)

An adaptation of August Wilson’s play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom earned Boseman his Academy Award nomination in what would be his final film role.

A biographical musical drama, the film focuses on Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), an influential blues singer in 1920s Chicago, and the drama that unfolds over the course of a recording session. Boseman plays trumpeter Levee Green, who is attempting to land his own record deal and move away from Ma Rainey’s band, much to their disapproval.

The film was nominated for five Oscars and released on Netflix in December 2020, where it is currently available to watch.

42

This was the first of three major biopics in which Boseman would star as a real person (Picture: Legendary Pictures/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)

Before Boseman shot to international stardom via Black Panther, he took on the role of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson, the first black athlete to play in Major League Baseball, in 42 (Robinson’s jersey number).

The 2013 film also starred Harrison Ford and Nicole Beharie, and was a long-gestating project, with Spike Lee first expressing interest in writing and directing a film based on Robinson’s life in 1995, and Robert Redford making plans in 2004.

The biopic, which followed Robinson’s signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, earned praise from critics and audience alike, including Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, for its authenticity.

42 is available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.

Black Panther

Boseman with co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira (Picture: Marvel/Disney/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)

The part that made Chadwick Boseman a star, 2018’s Black Panther was the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first to have a Black superhero protagonist. He had already made his debut appearance as T’Challa/Black Panther in 2016’s  Captain America: Civil War, where he sought to avenge his father T’Chaka’s death at a UN conference before joining Tony Stark’s team in the battle against Captain America’s team in the Civil War showdown.

He would also go on to feature in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Black Panther earned $1.347billion (£978.5m) worldwide on its release, making it the highest-grossing solo superhero movie, the MCU’s third-highest-grossing movie and the ninth-highest-grossing film ever.

The film also picked up seven Oscar nominations, including one for best picture, and won three.

A sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is scheduled to be released in July 2022, with Marvel boss Kevin Feige saying Boseman’s role would not be recast. Instead, T’Challa’s sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, is expected to feature more prominently.

Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are all available to watch on Disney Plus.

Marshall

Boseman portrayed a young Thurgood Marshall (Picture: Barry Wetcher/Open Road/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)

In this 2017 biopic, Boseman took on the role of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, starring alongside Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown and James Cromwell.

The film follows Marshall’s work as an NAACP lawyer in the 1940s, travelling across the country to his defendants, and focuses in particular on a case where he defends a black chauffeur accused of rape by his white employer.

The film had its premiere at Howard University, where both subject Thurgood Marshall and actor Boseman had studied.

Marshall is available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.

Get on Up

Stepping into the iconic shoes of James Brown for Get on Up (Picture: Imagine/Jagged/Wyolah/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)

Another film in which Boseman tackled playing a real person, this time the actor portrayed legendary singer James Brown.

The movie employs a non-linear structure, with Brown instead leading the narrative as he recalls various moments from throughout his life, covering the 1930s to the 1990s, and sometimes addressing the audience directly.

The film was produced by Sir Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, and also starred Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Lennie James and Nelsan Ellis.

Get on Up is available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.

What If…?

Boseman voiced T’Challa for new series What If…? before his death (Picture: Marvel Studios)

Chadwick Boseman’s final screen credit is for new animated Marvel series What If…? on Disney Plus, which explores pivotal moments in the MCU and turns them on their head to take audiences into unchartered territory.

Although not all of Marvel’s actors provided the voice for their respective superhero, Boseman did. The first episode featuring T’Challa, episode two, has already premiered with it understood that he will be returning as different versions of T’Challa later in the series.

The first three episodes of What If…? are available to watch on Disney Plus.

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MORE : Lupita Nyong’o shares emotional tribute to co-star Chadwick Boseman one year after death


MORE : Marvel’s What If episode 2: Fans in tears over heartbreaking tribute to Chadwick Boseman in final MCU performance



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