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The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ directors and ‘Iron Man’ star become the latest Marvel stars to remember the late ‘Black Panther’ actor while ABC pays homage with a TV special.
AceShowbiz -Marvel moviemakers Joe and Anthony Russo are struggling to come to terms with the shocking loss of Chadwick Boseman, admitting the news is “hard to process.”
The directing siblings cast the tragic actor as Black Panther/T’Challa in “Captain America: Civil War“, the 2016 movie which introduced the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and led to the stand alone “Black Panther” movie in 2018.
They reunited for “Avengers: Infinity War” and its sequel, “Endgame”, while the Russo brothers also served as producers on Boseman’s “21 Bridges” action thriller last year (19), and they are heartbroken by his premature death following a private, four-year cancer battle.
“This is hard to process,” they share in a short statement to Deadline.
“Chadwick was an incredibly elegant and thoughtful individual who conveyed dignity and integrity in a way that very few could. A tremendous talent who inspired a generation to stand up and be king. He understood something unique and noble about life, and was determined to use his talents in ways that impacted. He had so much to give…”
Boseman’s Marvel co-stars Don Cheadle, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson, and Mark Ruffalo were among the first to express their sadness online after the news broke on Friday night (28Aug20), and “Iron Man” actor Robert Downey Jr. has since added to the tributes.
“Mr. Boseman leveled the playing field while fighting for his life… That’s heroism… I’ll remember the good times, the laughter, and the way he changed the game #chadwickforever,” he posted, alongside video footage of the pals messing around.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown, and Samuel L. Jackson are among the colleagues who have also honoured his memory on social media, as have Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, Disney chief Bob Iger, and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler.
A U.S. TV special has been organised to air on the Disney-owned ABC network on Sunday night, following a commercial-free broadcast of “Black Panther”.
“Chadwick Boseman – A Tribute for a King” will celebrate the actor’s life and career, and reflect on his legacy and the cultural impact he had both on and off-camera.
It will also shed light on the disease which claimed his life – colon cancer, an illness he kept under wraps while paying special hospital visits to children with terminal health conditions. A representative for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital charity shared images of Boseman with young fans online and wrote, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Chadwick Boseman.”
“Two years ago, Chadwick visited the St. Jude campus and brought with him not only toys for our patients but also joy, courage and inspiration. He was an incredible role model for our patients and children from all around the world. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
And officials at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance have taken the opportunity to raise awareness about colon cancer, a “young-onset” disease which is “on the rise and cuts short thousands of lives every year.”
CEO Michael Sapienza added, “Colorectal cancer benefits from an intense stigma, particularly in the Black community. Cancer is a personal battle, and we respect Boseman’s choice to shield the public from his diagnosis. The Alliance, however, encourages open conversations about this disease. Even superheroes can develop colorectal cancer…”
“With education and awareness to defeat the stigma, resources for those diagnosed, and innovative research toward cures, we can end colorectal cancer in our lifetime.”
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