(LOS ANGELES) — The world continues to mourn the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, who died at age 43 after a silent four-year battle with colon cancer. Hollywood’s greatest extensively honored the Black Panther star over the weekend, however, one of the most profound tributes came from Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther.
Coogler, writing on the official Marvel webpage, penned a long and emotional piece on Sunday honoring Boseman’s memory.
Coogler shared his first thoughts on Boseman and how he brought a special light to the Marvel Cinematic Universe the second he cameoed in Captain America: Civil War, which made it so easy for the director to say “yes” when asked to helm the Black Panther movie.
The first time the two actually met was in early 2016, with Coogler remarking, “I noticed then that Chad was an anomaly. He was calm. Assured. Constantly studying. But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time.”
And, like most of Boseman’s costars and coworkers within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Coogler wasn’t privy to the actor’s battle with cancer, which the director understands because “he shielded his collaborators from his suffering.”
“He lived a beautiful life,” he remarked. “I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before.”
“In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors,” concluded Coogler. “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.”
Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.
By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.