TV & Movies

Netflix Postpones Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Preview Event After Chadwick Boseman's Death

Netflix has postponed a virtual preview event for one of Chadwick Boseman's final films, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, following the actor's death, PEOPLE confirms.

Boseman died at his home on Friday after a years-long battle with colon cancer, his family wrote on the star's social media accounts. He was 43.

While the planned event has been delayed, the release date for the film will not be pushed back, a rep for Netflix tells PEOPLE.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is based on August Wilson's 1982 play about the "Mother of Blues" Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) and her experience with white management in Chicago 1927. Boseman plays troubled trumpet player Levee, who vies for his own spot in the music industry.

The streaming service planned to host a virtual event for the film on Monday to reveal a first look at the movie and broadcast a conversation between the film's director George C. Wolfe and actress Davis.

Filming on the movie had already been completed prior to Boseman's death.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, which was adapted by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, was produced by Todd Black and Denzel Washington. "He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman," Washington said in a statement.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix Co-CEO and chief content officer, called Boseman "a superhero on screen and in life" in a statement. "It's impossible to imagine working at the level he has while valiantly battling his illness," he said. "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."

Davis wrote on social media that it was "an honor working beside you, getting to know you."

"No words to express my devastation of losing you. Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity…. May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you! 💛💛💛," she shared.

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Our ancestor August Wilson brought us together, now you’re with him among all else pure and THEE great. Great is you. Who you’ve been to US. You cared so much. It is immeasurable what I learned from you. We would rehearse rehearse rehearse. We’d try again. We’d try it this way and that way again. we’d play and laugh with George and try again and fail. We PLAYED. We are only afforded so many roles to play. I was so happy to lend myself to the bigger part of it with YOU. I was so in awe of all of you. You used everything God gave you. You helped me feel good about my desire to find the freedom in our scenes. You supported my innate desire to play. Helped not overthink it so damn much. You blessed us all beyond belief. Beyond. Fly on beautiful ancestor. thank you. I know you’ll wrap beautiful Taylor and your family in your grace. You were grace personified. I am so honored to be your Dussie Mae. You are forever my Levee. You are forever our king. Wakanda forever. ♾ love you forever Chadwick. see you again boundlessly.

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The Black Panther star died at his home, his family confirmed on social media Friday.

"It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. ⁣Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV," they said.

"A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy," the family statement continued. "It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. ⁣He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. ⁣ ⁣ The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time."⁣

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