Chadwick Boseman was confident that he would be able to overcome colon cancer only weeks before his tragic passing.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source close to the actor claims Chadwick, who had become noticeably thin in the months prior to his death, “was convinced until about a week before his death that he was going to beat cancer and would be able to gain the weight back” for the sequel to Black Panther.
The film was scheduled to start production in March 2021. He was set to start preparation for the film in September. Chadwick was also set to star in other “interconnected” Marvel films.
Chadwick only told a handful of people about his health battle. Aside from his family the only people to be informed were his producing partner Logan Coles, agent Michael Greene, trainer and the director Brian Helgeland. The actor did not tell anyone involved with Black Panther about the cancer.
On August 28, Chadwick’s family announced the tragic news of his passing. They released a statement reading, “It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.”
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.”
They added, “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. 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. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
The statement ended, “He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers. And asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Chadwick’s friend and the director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, spoke about the actor after his passing. He said, “I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. 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 till the end of my days.”