Following his Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture, Chadwick Boseman scored the even-more-prestigious Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role.
With these two awards already under his belt, Boseman is now the odds-on favorite for the Academy Award for Best Actor, as betting sites such as The Action Network currently has Boseman sitting at -1435, giving him a 93.5% chance of winning.
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) April 5, 2021
Boseman’s (seemingly eventual) Academy Award win would surely be a welcome and earned honor, but it would also serve as a stark reminder that the remarkable 43-year-old was still just scratching the surface of his potential, with many critics agreeing that his work as overconfident trumpeter Levee Green was the best of his already-acclaimed career. Should Boseman take home the Academy Award for Best Actor, he’d claim victory over both Oscar-winning acting titans such as Anthony Hopkins (The Father) and Gary Oldman (Mank), and promising newcomers Steven Yeun (Minari) and Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal).
While Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom represents Boseman’s final live-action role, it’s not technically his last, as the Black Panther actor filmed voice work for the upcoming Disney+ animated series What If…?, which will debut this summer. There’s also his larger-than-life presence in Black Panther II, which is scheduled to begin filming in July. Director Ryan Coogler recently spoke on making the sequel without Boseman, calling the process “difficult” and saying that he knows Chadwick would want them to make the movie:
“It’s difficult,” he says of proceeding with the film, which is slated to start production in July for a July 2022 release. “You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop. He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired. On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going.” [via The Hollywood Reporter]
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which also stars Viola Davis in the Academy Award-nominated titular role, is now available to stream on Netflix. Rest in Peace, Chadwick.