The world is mourning the tragic, unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman, who passed away from colon cancer at the age of 43 on August 28. The actor, who kept his diagnosis and fight under wraps, was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016–meaning that he was fighting his own private battle during the filming of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, and his non-Marvel work during this period.
Ryan Coogler, who directed Boseman in Black Panther, has penned a moving tribute to the actor on Marvel’s website, where he praises Boseman not just for his performance, but for his humanity, his creativity, and his kindness.
Coogler discusses how he “inherited” Boseman’s casting from Captain America: Civil War, saying that this is “something that I will forever be grateful for.” He recalls seeing Boseman’s performance in an unfinished cut of the movie, and how it convinced him to come on and do Black Panther. “I’ll never forget, sitting in an editorial suite on the Disney Lot and watching his scenes,” he writes. “His first with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, then, with the South African cinema titan, John Kani as T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to make this movie.”