Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and cinema in general) were shocked to their core this evening after learning about the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman. The actor — who played King T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers Endgame — passed away at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. In addition, he had also portrayed influential historical figures like baseball player Jackie Robinson, musician James Brown, and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Naturally, social media exploded with an outpouring of heartfelt tributes to Boseman, who Luke Cage's Mike Colter described as "a king on and off screen." In fact, many Marvel actors, filmmakers, and producers are now posting about the short, but incredibly bright and revolutionary, career of Wakanda's noble monarch — a real-life superhero. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, for example, said in a statement that Boseman "radiated charisma and joy" every time he was present on set. "He created something truly indelible," Feige said.
"This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother," wrote Angela Bassett, who played T'Challa's mother, Queen Ramonda, in Panther.
"A soul so beautiful, when you walked into a room, there was calm. You always moved with grace and ease. Every time I saw you, the world would be a better place," said Letitia Wright, who played T'Challa's sister and Wakanda's chief science officer, Shuri, in Panther. "Words cant describe how I feel, how we all fee, that losing you is forced upon us. To accept this as a new reality, I wish I got to say goodbye. Messaged you a couple times, I thought you were just busy. I didn't know you were dealing with so much."
"The children he inspired, my heart aches for them, to lose their hero just as they finally found him," wrote Danai Gurira, who portrayed Okoye (leader of the elite Wakandan warriors known as the Dora Milaje) in Panther, Infinity War, and Endgame. "I am so thankful to have taken the Black Panther journey with him. To have known him, spent time in his light and leadership and to call him forever a friend."
"Chadwick's death is something that I can neither take in nor take in my stride right now," wrote Lupita Nyong'o, who played T'Challa's childhood friend and ally Nakia in Panther. "Perhaps with time ... I'm going to take my time ... and in his honor, I promise not to waste my time. I hope you will do the same."
"I'm gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts," said Michael B. Jordan, who played Panther's main antagonist, Erik Killmonger. I'll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I'm dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. 'Is this your king!?' Yes . he . is! Rest In Power, Brother."
"I’m absolutely shocked. Chadwick was thoughtful, watchful, and totally committed in his work. A boyish grin and a contagious laugh," Martin Freeman, who played Everett K. Ross (a CIA agent and T'Challa's ally) in Civil War and Panther, said in a statement provided to SYFY WIRE. "To still do what he did, when he must have been going through some terrible physical and emotional pain, is testament to the man. My heartfelt condolences to his family and those he loved. Rest in Peace brother."
Read those reactions and more as Hollywood (and even President Barack Obama) remembers the late Mr. Boseman ...