The release date for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will not be pushed back, a rep for Netflix tells PEOPLE

By Georgia Slater
August 29, 2020 01:45 PM
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Credit: Matt McClain for The Washington Post via Getty Images

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.

Credit: Victoria Will/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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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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."⁣