Director had no idea about star’s cancer battle



The director of Black Panther has revealed in an emotional tribute to late star Chadwick Boseman how he didn't know about the actor's terminal cancer until after his death on Saturday.

Ryan Coogler, who also co-wrote the hit Marvel movie, described meeting Boseman in 2016 during a press push for another film, saying he was floored by the star's death from colon cancer aged 43.

"Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn't privy to the details of his illness,'' Coogler wrote in a lengthy statement to Entertainment Weekly.

Director Ryan Coogler on the set of Black Panther with Lupita Nyong’o. Picture: Marvel
Director Ryan Coogler on the set of Black Panther with Lupita Nyong’o. Picture: Marvel

"After his family released their statement, I realised that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him,'' Coogler said.

"Because he was a caretaker, a leader and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering,'' he said. "I haven't grieved a loss this acute before.

"It hurts more to know that we can't have another conversation or Facetime or text message exchange. He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic. He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer.

"He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks 'til the end of my days. What an incredible mark he's left for us."

Boseman was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016, battling his illness in secret until his death last week.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Director had no idea about star's cancer