The world was shocked when Chadwick Boseman, the star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe known as the Black Panther, passed away on August 28, 2020, at the age of 43. For the first time, in the wake of his untimely passing, the Boseman family reported that the superhero was suffering and being treated for stage IV colon cancer. Boseman kept his diagnosis a secret and, of course, wanted to keep his fight a secret from the world.
Surprisingly, during his treatment, Boseman acted in some of his prominent films, from critically acclaimed biopics to MCU Staples to Spike Lee Joints. It’s impossible to understate how much strength and sheer will it must have taken for Boseman to film some of his most physically demanding projects. Even one of these movies is a standalone MCU movie. Now, as we mourn the loss of this talented actor, these films will remain testimonials of his talent and struggle. Here are seven movies that Chadwick Boseman made while battling colon cancer.
7 Movies Chadwick Boseman made while fighting cancer
After starring in several biopic films, including 42 in 2013 and Get on Up in 2014, in which he portrayed Jackie Robinson and James Brown – respectively, in 2017’s ‘Marshall’ Boseman played Supreme Court Justice, Thurgod Marshall. This Reginald Hudlin directorial mainly focuses on one of the first and most important cases in Marshall’s career i.e., state of Connecticut vs. Joseph spell. After this particular case in which Marshall struggled to prove his innocence, he became the first black judge of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Marshall worked well with critics, often playing Boseman’s centerpiece. By this time, Boseman had already established himself as the king of biopics, despite his poor health.
Chadwick Boseman in and as Black Panther (2018)
MCU’s first standalone movie starring a black superhero had to prove a lot, and thanks to Boseman and director Ryan Coogler, 2018’s Black Panther exceeded even the highest of expectations. A critical smash that brought down the box office and won several Oscars. Black Panther is the first solo film to feature Boseman’s T’Challa, the young King of Wakanda and his alter ego known as Black Panther.
Superhero movies mostly rely on the suspension of disbelief and, as a result, can sometimes sound fake or unconvincing. But Black Panther succeeded largely and thanks to Coogler’s fantastic direction and Boseman’s grounding performance. Boseman took this legendary figure having supernatural powers and made him feel like a real person. The character has appeared in many places in the MCU, but Black Panther became one of the most culturally significant films- in the history of the cinematic universe.
Boseman’s King T’Challa joined the fight against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame (2018/2019)
After the events of Black Panther, T’Challa decided to speak out about the real power of Wakanda. And he is therefore inviting the world to see the technical advancements. But he doesn’t expect the biggest battle of humanity to be fought on his land. Avengers Infinity War ends with a final fight against Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Wakanda, but in the end, the hero loses. The mad titan snaps his fingers and erased half of the creatures with the help of the Infinity Gauntlet. Also, destiny selected him as one of the fallen, leaving Wakanda bereft. Later in Endgame, all the heroes, including T’Challa were resurrected. T’Challa – his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright General Okoi (Danai Gurira) – were the first to return to sustenance.
He has proved that Wakanda is as subtle as his king, and not only he got an emotional moment in Infinity War, but also the first entrance to the real world. Hence, making it clear that he’s the audience favorite.
21 Bridges (2019)
After mega-hits like Infinity War and Endgame, Chadwick Boseman took a deep breath with 21 Bridges. Boseman played an NYPD detective alongside Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons, and Taylor Kitsch. Detective Andre Davis, played by Boseman, was tasked with arresting two criminals who killed police officers. In an attempt to prevent them from escaping, he closed Manhattan’s all 21 bridges to trap them.
It’s no surprise that Chadwick Boseman got leading roles such as in “21 Bridges” because of his work in MCU movies. And of course, he was much appreciated for his central performance, while critics qualify him as an “easy leading man”. 21 Bridges may have been a classic Cop drama, but Boseman indeed made it special.
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
COVID-19 hit the world in early 2020, forcing theatres to close and thus forcing movies to directly release onto live streaming platforms, including Spike Lee’s latest, Da 5 Bloods. The story of a group of Vietnamese soldiers returning to an empty battlefield in search of treasure as well as the squad leader buried there. Da 5 Bloods plays with time, significantly associated with Boseman’s character “Stormin'” Norman Earl Holloway.
Boseman’s role in Da 5 Bloods is small, still vital, and in the end, no one can explain why he was chosen for this crucial role over Lee. As Lee told writer David Sims, “Here’s the thing for me. This character is heroic; he’s a superhero. Who do we cast? We cast Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and we cast T’Challa. Chad is a superhero! That character is Christlike! Notice the way [the cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel] shot him. There’s light from heaven coming down from above on him.”
Last performance of Chadwick Boseman: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
Although Boseman has gone, one of his films is yet to be released. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be the last movie of Boseman. It is based on the play of the same name by acclaimed playwright August Wilson, starring Oscar winner Viola Davis.
A story of a day with acclaimed singer Ma Rainey (Davis) and her willful trumpeter Levee (Boseman). Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is sure to set off a wave when it hits Netflix. Though it is delayed since the project’s first limited release is pushed back in honor of Boseman. Although the preview has initially been scheduled for August 31, 2020, critics will have to wait a bit to understand Ma Rainey’s story, which also implies that fans will have to wait as well.
Which one of the above movies of Chadwick Boseman is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.