At the shocking revelation of Chadwick Boseman’s fatal trial with Colon Cancer, fans and celebrities alike have been wondering who, if anyone, was aware of his status.
Words of remembrance, mourning, and love flooded Instagram, Facebook and Twitter from fans of every status all over the globe. The National Football League even made an expression via Twitter, posting, “Rest in Peace, Chadwick Boseman.”
Ryan Coogler, who directed Chadwick in Black Panther made a lengthy honorarium in which he spoke, “When on the film he would ponder every decision, every choice, not just on how it would reflect on himself, but how those choices could reverberate. ‘” This is Star Wars, this is Lord of the Rings, but for us…and bigger!’” “He would say this to me while we were struggling to finish a dramatic scene, stretching into double overtime.” Coogler added, “He would come to auditions for supporting roles, which is uncommon for lead actors in a big budget movies. He was there for several M’Baku auditions. In Winston Duke’s, he turned a chemistry read into a wrestling match. Winston broke his bracelet.”
Filmmaker (and #BlackPanther director) Ryan Coogler penned a beautiful letter on the loss of Chadwick Boseman. “He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was.” pic.twitter.com/1zMoR6onYx— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) August 30, 2020
According to reports, Chadwick was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer back in 2016. Looking at the timeline of principal photography on his filmography over that time, he filmed: Marshall, in which he portrayed civil rights icon attorney and eventual Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Superhero and African King T’challa in 2018’s Black Panther, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame; Detective Andre Davis in 21 Bridges; and an apparition as solider Stormin’ Norman in Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. He will appear in one additional movie filmed before his departure, Netflix’ Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as “Levee.”
Boseman’s family shared in a statement: “From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”https://t.co/2wjVuV6Wqf pic.twitter.com/YFZZMfcqzy— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 29, 2020
That’s an incredibly exhausting schedule for anyone, let alone someone afflicted with a life-threatening disease requiring intense and exacting rounds of chemotherapy. Notably, he also starred in three additional films that were released in that time (albeit filmed prior to diagnosis): his first appearance as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, Thoth in Gods of Egypt, and a gritty performance as Jacob King in the Netflix film, Message from the King.
Fan speculation around the late actor’s health began shortly after the release of Black Panther as he showed signs of atrophy in promotional appearances. It has been common for actors to either lose weight for upcoming roles or lose weight after previously bulking up for a role. Fans and movie critics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe often wondered aloud why Marvel Studios executive Kevin Feige hadn’t announced a sequel to the $1.3 Billion grossing Black Panther.
However, the public outpouring of shock and grief demonstrates just how unprepared the film and television community was over Boseman’s private struggle.
Legendary movie director Spike Lee, the creative force behind critically acclaimed films Do the Right Thing, X, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, and Blackkklansman, recently directed Boseman as “Stormin’ Norman” in the Black Vietnam War drama Da 5 Bloods for Netflix. Lee was not informed of Chadwick’s health condition. Responding directly to a question from Instagram user indytrue on a tributary post made in the late actor’s honor, he stunningly stated, “Nobody knew.”