Movies & TV

Six Months After His Death, Chadwick Boseman Gets Oscar Buzz For Last Films

Boseman leads US Screen Actors Guild noms as 'Ma Rainey', 'Minari' soar.

The late Chadwick Boseman earned double Screen Actors Guild awards nominations Thursday, boosting hopes of posthumous Oscars glory for the trailblazing Black Panther star.

Hollywood's acting union nominated Boseman for his lead role as an ambitious young horn player in 1920s blues drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and his supporting role as a Vietnam War soldier in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods.

Both films also scored nominations for best cast—the top prize at the SAG ceremony, which like much of the Tinseltown awards calendar has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Although less high-profile than the Golden Globes nominations a day earlier, the SAG awards are seen as a stronger indicator of Oscars glory, since actors represent the largest branch of the roughly 10,000 Oscar voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Only two actors have ever posthumously won Oscars—Peter Finch for 1976's Network, and Heath Ledger for 2008's The Dark Knight.

Boseman died at age 43 in August last year from colon cancer, a diagnosis he never publicly discussed.

Boseman's co-star Viola Davis also earned a lead actress nod for Ma Rainey, putting it in a tie atop the SAG film acting nominations with Korean-American drama Minari.

Minari, which follows an immigrant family who move to 1980s rural Arkansas to scrape together a new life, is hoping to emulate Parasite—which won last year's SAG best cast prize before ultimately being named the Oscars best picture.

Former Walking Dead favorite Steven Yeun and veteran South Korean star Youn Yuh-jung were both recognized for the film, along with the ensemble cast.


Rounding out the prestigious best cast category were a pair of 1960s-set civil rights movies: One Night in Miami and courtroom drama The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Netflix again dominated the film nominations with 13, while rival streamer Amazon followed with four.

Trump vs. SAG Awards

Former US president Donald Trump threatened to overshadow the morning's announcement with an angry letter resigning from the Hollywood union, which had recently launched disciplinary action against him.

In the letter published on Thursday, the former star of reality TV show The Apprentice dismissed SAG's threat to expel him with the words: "Who cares!"

"I no longer wish to be associated with your union... You have done nothing for me," wrote Trump, whose screen credits include Home Alone 2 and Zoolander.

SAG-AFTRA offered a succinct reply: "Thank you."

The union had voted last month to find "probable cause of a violation" by Trump in connection with the January 6 mob attack on the US Capitol.

It instructed a committee to investigate those events and Trump's mistreatment of broadcast journalists—whom the 160,000-member union also represents.

Also among the ranks of SAG members are Hollywood's stunt workers, who receive their only major awards recognition at the annual SAG ceremony.

Da 5 Bloods and Chicago 7 landed stunt nominations Thursday, alongside Disney's Mulan, Tom Hanks-starring western News of the World, and superhero movie Wonder Woman 1984.

On the television side, The Crown and Schitt's Creek followed a strong showing at the Globes by topping the SAG nominations with five apiece.

The SAGs nominated several TV shows overlooked by the Globes, including Netflix mega-hit Bridgerton and acclaimed British drama I May Destroy You.

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The nominations were announced on Instagram Live by Daveed Diggs—who earned a television acting nod for the Disney+ version of Broadway hit Hamilton—and Lily Collins of Emily in Paris

The 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were twice postponed, first by the pandemic and later by a clash with music's Grammys. They will now take place on April 4, followed by the Oscars on April 25.

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