Although many members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have already paid tribute to the life and legacy of Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman this weekend, one important voice was missing: Ryan Coogler, the director Black Panther. Instead of posting a brief tweet or a picture on Instagram, Coogler penned a lengthy essay about his colleague and friend.

You can read the entire thing at Marvel.com. It’s a beautiful, tribute to a great artist and human being. In it, Coogler reveals that not only did Boseman keep his struggle with colon cancer secret from his fans, he kept it secret from his Marvel colleagues as well. As Coogler, wrote...

Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn’t privy to the details of his illness. After his family released their statement, 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. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.

Coogler also mentions Black Panther 2, noting that he “spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.” And he closes with this: “I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.” Definitely go to Marvel.com to read the entire piece.

Gallery — The Secret Inspirations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

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