LOS ANGELES • The late Chadwick Boseman earned double Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards nominations on 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 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 voters for 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.
His co-star Viola Davis also earned a Lead Actress nod for Ma Rainey, putting it joint-top of 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 favourite Steven Yeun and veteran South Korean star Youn Yuh-jung were both recognised 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 11 acting nods and a further two for stunt work. Rival streamer Amazon followed with four.
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.
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 (Emily In Paris).
The 27th Annual SAG awards event was twice postponed, first due to the pandemic and later because of a clash with music's Grammys. It will now take place on April 4, followed by the Oscars on April 25.