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SYFY WIRE Danai Gurira

Black Panther's Danai Gurira, others pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman in first trailer for Netflix special

By Nivea Serrao
Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa in Black Panther

Netflix will be honoring Chadwick Boseman in an upcoming special that will be released globally on the streaming platform on April 17. 

Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist will feature conversations with many of his creative collaborators across several of his projects — including Viola Davis (Suicide Squad), Phylicia Rashad (Pixar's Soul), and Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods) — as they pay tribute to the Black Panther actor who passed away last summer by discussing his commitment to his craft. 

"I am an artist," Boseman says of himself in a trailer for the special (below). "People call me an actor. I wouldn't necessarily call myself an actor. I would call myself an artist." 

Among those making an appearance in the special are Danai Gurira, who appeared alongside Boseman most recently in Avengers: Endgame, where she played Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje, an elite all-female team of Wakandan warriors who've sworn to defend their country — and by extension its ruler, Boseman's King T'Challa.  

You can see Gurira in the trailer where she says this of Boseman's acting technique: "He's thinking of every part of the world he's in, and how it becomes the truth."

Also appearing in the special are actor and Black Panther dialect coach Andile Nebulane, and Black Panther choreographer Aakomon "AJ" Jones, who also worked with Boseman on Get On Up. They will be joined by some of the other directors who directed Boseman, including George C. Wolfe (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Brian Helgeland (42), Reginald Hudlin (Marshall) and Tate Taylor (Get On Up).

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, who is currently prepping Black Panther II to be filmed this summer, has previously spoken about the challenges of working on the sequel not just without its star, but also his close personal friend. 

"It's very difficult to have perspective on something while you're going through it," Coogler said of the process earlier this year. "This is one of the most profound things I've ever gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person."

And while it has been confirmed that Boseman will not be digitally resurrected into the MCU going forward, or making an appearance on The Falcon and the Winter soldier in its final few episodes, fans will still get to experience him in the role of T'Challa one last time, as he will be once again voicing the character for Marvel's What If...? animated series, which will explore what it would look like had the Wakandan prince-turned-king become Guardian of the Galaxy's Star-Lord. 

Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist will arrive on Netflix on Saturday, April 17, where it will be available to stream globally for 30 days.