The death of Chadwick Boseman has shocked the world and Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther has written a few words to say goodbye to his friend.
While the family Marvel and the entirety of Hollywood continue to pay tribute to the late Chadwick boseman, who tragically passed away on Friday after a four-year battle with colon cancer, the director of Black Panther, Ryan coogler, has shared an extremely emotional tribute to his friend.
You can read his words below:
Before sharing my thoughts on the passing of the great Chadwick Boseman, I first offer my condolences to his family who meant so much to him. To his wife, Simone, especially ”. The director of Black Panther began.
“I inherited the casting choice from Marvel and the Russo brothers from T’Challa (Black Panther). It is something for which I will always be grateful. The first time I saw Chadwick Boseman perform as T’Challa, it was in an unfinished cut from Captain America: Civil War. I was deciding if directing Black Panther was the right choice for me. I will never forget sitting in an editorial room at Disney and watching their scenes. The first with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, then with the South African film titan, John Kani, as T’Challa's father, King T’Chaka ”.
“It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to make this movie. After Scarlett's character leaves them, Chad and John began to converse in a language they had never heard before. It sounded familiar, full of the same clicks and thumps that black kids would do in America. The same clicks that would often berate us for being disrespectful or inappropriate. But it had a musicality that felt ancient, powerful and African. “
“In my meeting after seeing the movie, I asked Nate Moore, one of the producers of the movie, about the language.”
“Did they make it up?” Nate replied, “That's Xhosa, John Kani's native language. He and Chad decided to do the scene like this on set, and we did. ” I thought inside myself. “Did you just learn lines in another language that day?” I couldn't conceive how difficult it must have been, and even though I hadn't met Chad, I was already in awe of his acting ability. “
“I later learned that there was a lot of conversation about what Black Panther would sound like in the movie. The decision to make Xhosa the official language of Wakanda was solidified by Chad, a native of South Carolina, because he was able to learn his lines in Xhosa, right there. He also advocated that his character speak with an African accent, so that he could introduce T'Challa to the public as an African king, whose dialect had not been conquered by the West. “
“I finally met Chad in person in early 2016, once I signed up for the movie Black Panther. He sneaked past reporters who were gathering for a press conference he was doing for CREED and met me in the green room. We talked about our lives, my time playing soccer in college and his time at Howard studying to be a director, about our collective vision for T’Challa and Wakanda. We talked about the irony of how his former classmate at Howard Ta-Nehisi Coates was writing the current T’Challa arc with Marvel Comics. And how Chad met Howard's student Prince Jones, whose murder at the hands of a police officer inspired the memoirs of Coates Between The World and Me.
“Then I realized that Chad was an anomaly. I was calm. Insurance. Constantly studying. But also kind, comforting, he had the warmest laugh in the world and eyes that saw far beyond his years, but could still shine like a child seeing something for the first time. “
“That was the first of many conversations. He was a special person ”.
“We often talked about heritage and what it means to be African. In preparing for the movie Black Panther, he weighed every decision, every choice, not only on how it would reflect on himself, but also on how those choices might impact. “
“They are not prepared for this, what we are doing …”. “This is Star Wars, this is Lord of the Rings, but for us … and bigger!” He said this to me as we struggled to finish a dramatic scene, stretching me up to double the overtime. Or while covered in body paint, doing his own stunts. Or crash into icy water and foam landing strips. He was nodding and smiling, but I didn't believe him. I had no idea if the movie would work. He wasn't sure he knew what he was doing. But I look back and realize that Chad knew something that all of us don't. I was playing the long game. All while getting to work. And work he did ”.
“He would come to auditions for supporting roles, which is not common for leading actors in big-budget movies. He was there for several M’Baku auditions. With Winston Duke he turned a reading into a wrestling match. Winston broke his bracelet. At Letitia Wright's audition for Shuri, she pierced her royal poise with her signature humor and brought a smile to Black Panther's face that was 100% Chad. “
“While I was shooting the movie, we would meet in the office or at my rental house in Atlanta, to discuss lines and different ways to add depth to each scene. We talk about costumes, military practices. He told me: “The people of Wakanda have to dance during the coronations. If they stand there with spears, what separates them from the Romans? In the first drafts of the script. Eric Killmonger's character would ask Black Panther to be buried in Wakanda. Chad challenged that and asked, what if Killmonger asked to be buried elsewhere? “
“Chad deeply valued his privacy and I was unaware of the details of his illness.”
“After his family released their statement, I realized that I was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. As a caregiver, leader, and man of faith, dignity, and pride, he protected his collaborators from their suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was what it was. It was an epic fireworks show. I will tell stories about being there for some of the bright sparks until the end of my days. What an incredible mark he has left on us ”.
“I had not mourned such a severe loss before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining, and writing words for him to say that we weren't meant to see. It leaves me shattered knowing that I won't be able to see another close-up of him on the monitor or walk up to him and ask him for another take on a Black Panther sequel. “
“It hurts more to know that we cannot have another conversation, face to face or exchange of text messages. He would send us vegetarian recipes and diets for my family and I to follow during the pandemic. It would control me and my loved ones, even while dealing with the scourge of cancer. “
“In African cultures, we often refer to loved ones who have passed away as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of the character of Chad in Black Panther, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with blue screens and huge theater lights, but Chad's performance made it feel real. “
“I think it was because since I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It's no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable characters. He had no doubt that he would live and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a feeling of deep gratitude that I have ever been in his presence that I have to acknowledge the fact that Chad is now an ancestor. And I know that he will take care of us until we meet again ”.
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