Most of the world is still reeling from the death of Chadwick Boseman, who tragically passed away at the age of 43 following a years-long battle with colon cancer. Since his passing many have paid tribute to the actor through a number of emotional social media posts. This includes a large number of them from his Marvel co-stars. Now, Ryan Coogler, the man who directed Boseman in Black Panther, has spoken out on his star’s death in what is a truly beautiful statement:
Ryan Coogler wrote out a lengthy statement (via THR) in which he recalled the first time he ever saw Chadwick Boseman portray T’Challa. This occurred when he viewed a rough cut of Captain America: Civil War, during which Coogler became amazed by Boseman’s interaction with his on-screen father, John Kani:
Coogler went on to say that he was amazed to discover that the language the two were speaking was John Kani’s native tongue and that Chadwick Boseman had learned to speak in the Xhosa language on the day they shot the scene. Coogler wrote that he was even more impressed when he learned that Boseman to speak with an African accent while performing the role.
Following this the direct recalled his first meeting with the Black Panther actor:
Coogler also reminisced on the discussions that he and Boseman had while developing the film and stressed how the actor understood just how important the film was and what it could do for Black culture. He recalled the small yet important details that Boseman added to the film, like recommending that the Wakandans dance during T’Challa’s coronation.
When noting that Chadwick Boseman was an incredibly private person, Ryan Coogler revealed that he was unaware of his illness and didn’t find out until his passing on Friday. He then went on to praise him as a “caretaker,” “leader” and “a man of faith, dignity and pride.”
Ryan Coogler closed out the letter by reflecting on the day he and Chadwick Boseman shot the scenes in which T’Challa communicates with the ancestors. The director used this to illustrate how in African culture, those who have passed away are referred to as “ancestors.” And Coogler admitted to now having to acknowledge the fact that Boseman is now an ancestor:
To say that Ryan Coogler was able to thoughtfully express his thoughts on feelings on Chadwick Boseman’s passing and paint a beautiful picture of their relationship would be an understatement. While it already shone through in their public interactions, these words give us an even deeper understanding what the two collaborators meant to each other.
I think I speak for most of us when I say we’ll continue to both mourn and honor Chadwick Boseman and reflect on what he was able to accomplish during his time on this Earth.
We at CinemaBlend continue to extend our deepest condolences to Chadwick Boseman’s loved ones during this time.
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Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.