August 31, 2020
Black Panther director and co-writer Ryan Coogler wrote a lengthy, emotional tribute to the film’s star, Chadwick Boseman, on Sunday, after the Actor died of a private struggle with colon cancer.
Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler Pens Emotional Tribute To Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday, at the age of 43.
His family revealed that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, but the actor never spoke publicly about his diagnosis during his rise to fame in Hollywood ― including to Ryan, who worked closely with him on Black Panther. “After his family released their statement, I realised that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him,” the director wrote.
“Because he was a caretaker, a leader and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering.
“He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days.”Marvel Studios’ "Black Panther" Director Ryan Coogler’s full statement on the legacy of Chadwick Boseman: https://t.co/OLI4lgXtaK— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) August 30, 2020Throughout his career, Chadwick played iconic Black leaders such as baseball player Jackie Robinson, Singer James Brown and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, before snagging the role of King T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War and the $1.35 billion-grossing Marvel film, Black Panther.
Ryan recalled being impressed with the actor’s decision that T’Challa’s native tongue be the South African language Xhosa ― in which the actor learned his lines immediately.
The director also recalled first meeting Chadwick when the actor sneaked in to talk with him during Coogler’s press junket for Creed.
“He was calm. Assured. Constantly studying,” Ryan said. “But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that [had] seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time.”
The two were expected to reunite for a sequel to Black Panther, to which Ryan Coogler also referred in his statement.
“I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before,” he said. “I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see.
“It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.” Chadwick’s unexpected death shattered the world as fans, public figures, celebrities and institutions mourned the loss of a real-life superhero.
The actor was remembered by many for his on-screen talent, his big heart and his ability to inspire those around him ― including the current generation of Black children who saw themselves in T’Challa and the people of Wakanda.
“In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda,” Ryan said.
“But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.”
Read Coogler’s full statement here.READ MORE: Chadwick Boseman Surprising Black Panther Fans Shows The Impact He Had On All Who Met Him RIP King: Fans, Friends, Celebrities Mourn Loss of Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman
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