Despite being ill for years, the late actor worked relentlessly to deliver some of his best performances.
It is indeed another dark day of 2020. For the past four years since he got diagnosed with it, our beloved Chadwick Boseman had been battling with colon cancer which had progressed from stage 3 at the time of diagnosis to stage 4. The actor passed away earlier today in his home at Los Angeles with his wife and his family by his side.
Chadwick played revolutionary characters who made both Hollywood and American history. Before his big Marvel break, he had only been making major Hollywood films for two years which earned him recognition. A graduate of Howard University and the British American Drama Academy, Chadwick first earned his name through Television. It was in 2013 when he landed his first film when he starred as the baseball legend Jackie Robinson for his biopic 42. It tells much about this departed pure soul’s dedication that he worked in the industry despite his illness and continued to deliver exceptional performances with his surgeries and chemotherapy treatment running alongside.
As the world pays tribute to the late actor, here are seven of Chadwick Boseman’s movies that released in the last four years while he was struggling with colon cancer.
7) Marshall (2017)
Chadwick’s Marshall performed pretty decently at the box office and the versatility and talent he depicted in the film made an entire industry take notice of his role. The Marshall revolved around the story of one of the cases that the late civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall fought in 1941. Boseman enacted the character of young Marshall, who was the first African-American to serve justice on the US Supreme Court. The film also featured Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell. It also won the award for The Best Film at the Black Film Critics Circle Awards.
6) Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther proved to be Chadwick Boseman’s biggest breaking point in his career. When Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige saw him in Get On Up, he instantly knew that Chadwick was the right man to play King T’Challa. Black Panther resulted in a staggering cultural phenomenon when it arrived in 2018. It went on to become the fourth-highest grossing movie in domestic box-office history was Marvel’s first recipient of an Academy Award. Chadwick is said to have trained rigorously to get in shape and learned Angolan capoeira, Dambe boxing, Zulu stick fighting, karate, kung-fu, and jiu-jitsu for the role. Words fall short to describe the evolution that this first major superhero movie with an African protagonist brought.
5) Avengers Infinity War (2018)
If you’ve watched the Avengers Infinity War in the theaters, I’m pretty sure you remember the noise we made the moment when T’Challa yelled “Wakanda forever” and his army marched forward to fight the Chitauri army. Chadwick’s remarkable role in the first conclusion of Marvel’s saga is applaudable and worth remembering. All his co-stars whom he worked within the film poured in condolences. One of his best mates on the sets, Chris Evans tweeted “I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King”
4) Avengers End Game (2019)
The heartache is real to say this but the final installment of the Avengers Saga, The Endgame witnessed Chadwick Boseman for the last time in his suits of Black Panther. His character made one hell of a triumphant return in Avengers: Endgame, and had also set a plot for him for his significant future of going into Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Black Panther 2 was tentatively scheduled for May 2022 and was in early development. With the actor’s demise, nothing can be talked about the film’s sequel as fans are reluctant to see anyone else other than him.
3) 21 Bridges (2019)
Chadwick took on his first producing job in last year’s action-thriller 21 Bridges in which he also starred himself. In the movie, Boseman is seen playing the role of a New York police detective, who orders the closing of 21 bridges to nab crooks who had stolen 50 kilos of cocaine and killed eight officers. He worked alongside stars Stephan James, Taylor Kitsch, Sienna Miller, Keith David, and JK Simmons in the film. The action thriller performed well in theaters and was Boseman’s second release of the year.
2) Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Chadwick’s recent release of the year, Da 5 Bloods was a war drama film. It told the story of four Black Vietnam War veterans who return to the country to look for their old friend and a treasure in gold bars. In this film, Chadwick worked with, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Johnny Trí Nguyễn, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser, Jasper Pääkkönen, Jean Reno and Veronica Ngo. Chadwick’s love for playing revolutionary figures shaped the way audiences and other directors saw him. It is one of the many movies Boesman did under his disease. The film was released on Netflix under the global pandemic.
1) Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
We are fortunate enough to be having one last of his release lined up. His family’s statement confirmed that Boseman had finished working on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Netflix announced the film in June 2019 and would have it released somewhere around November this year. The film which is the adaptation of August Wilson’s acclaimed 1982 play of the same name, is considered to be a significant awards-season release for Netflix.
In a span of just 7 years, Chadwick Boseman created a catalog of heroic figures which are to be remembered forever. His private cancer battle can probably be explained by the fact that he always valued his privacy. Even though he was a part of the industry for over a decade, he kept his personal life as private as possible.
Our deepest condolences to his family. Chadwick shall eternally remain in our hearts
Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige who played a major role in bringing Black Panther to the silver screen also paid tribute to the star and issued a statement. Read about it here.