Read ‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler’s moving tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Director Ryan Coogler on the “Black Panther” set with star Chadwick Boseman.(Matt Kennedy / Marvel Studios)

“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler broke his silence to commemorate the late Chadwick Boseman on Sunday morning. The actor unexpectedly died Friday after privately waging a four-year battle with colon cancer.

The duo had been expected to reunite for a sequel to the billion-dollar-grossing “Black Panther.” ABC has set a commercial-free broadcast television premiere of the Marvel blockbuster for Sunday night, followed by a special tribute to the star.

Read Coogler’s full statement below:

“Before sharing my thoughts on the passing of the great Chadwick Boseman, I first offer my condolences to his family who meant so very much to him. To his wife, Simone, especially.

“I inherited Marvel and the Russo Brothers’ casting choice of T’Challa. It is something that I will forever be grateful for. The first time I saw Chad’s performance as T’Challa, it was in an unfinished cut of ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ I was deciding whether or not directing ‘Black Panther’ was the right choice for me. I’ll never forget sitting in an editorial suite on the Disney lot and watching his scenes. His first with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, then with the South African cinema titan, John Kani, as T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to make this movie. After Scarlett’s character leaves them, Chad and John began conversing in a language I had never heard before. It sounded familiar, full of the same clicks and smacks that young black children would make in the States. The same clicks that we would often be chided for being disrespectful or improper. But, it had a musicality to it that felt ancient, powerful, and African.

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