As you probably heard last weekend, Chadwick Bozeman was an incredible actor who has made a name for himself playing King T’Challa, the Black Panther in the wonderful world of cinema. As the star of the Black Panthers, he was the first black man to star in a superhero movie since Wesley Snipes in Blade. The Black Panthers have had a cultural impact that should not be underestimated.
T’Challa has only appeared in four MCU films, but it seems he has had a much greater influence on the franchise. He was an important part of Captain America: The Civil War is most remarkable for the ensemble of actors – his action scenes were supported by an amazing choreography, and each scene with him was led by an arch of irresistible characters at the heart of one of the best cinematic franchises in terms of character development.
And then there are the Black Panthers, where you have to start. – It’s phenomenal, and the heart and soul of this film are Chadwick’s acting talent and his royal attitude. When the movie was released, Michael B… Jordan received much more praise because his sinister role as Killmonger attracted more attention – but it’s important to note that his role wouldn’t have been as focused if Chadwick hadn’t brought the slide ashore and into T’Challa.
And to go back to the way I described it before, he just had a royal way that was so refreshing. It’s like seeing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings or a similar role, but Chadwick brought a warmth and sympathy that is not often found in such a character.
And, as I said, he has become one of the favorite characters of dozens of actors in just four of the more than twenty films of MCU. He became one of the favourites after the Black Panthers. Much of the lure of the Infinite War and the end of the game was eventually seen by T’Challa as part of the Avengers. She suddenly became the heart of the world’s largest franchise and will leave a huge void in her path. (If someone is plotting a strategy about what Marvel Studios will do for the Black Panther sequel, I think it’s inappropriate to ask that question now – I just want to say that he’s become an integral part of the series, and his absence will certainly be felt).
A little lighter was Chadwick’s role in the fourth edition of Black Jeopardy on Saturday Night Live. It is very funny and it shows the gap between the African utopia we see in the Black Panther and the experience of blacks in America. It’s nice to see that Chadwick was willing to have a little fun with him, despite the fact that this character was especially serious in his films.
I would be remiss not to mention other great performances by Chadwick, who plays some real black icons, as well as one of his favourites, such as Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, Jackie Robinson at 42 and James Brown in Get on Up. He only appeared in films for a decade or so, but in this relatively short career he has played an incredible number of large performances and culls. So I think people will view his career as tragically as Heath Ledger.
This is the first time I’ve heard of Chadwick’s Twitter feed. Daniel O’Brien, last week’s author, twittered a simple and honest answer to Chadwick’s death tonight: Damn it. Damn it. Clint Smith tweeted from the Atlantic Ocean: I can’t stop thinking about my three-year-old in a Black Panther costume. Because he wore it almost every day when he received it, he refused to take it off. The way he walked and talked: I’m the Black Panther. He was so happy. What Chadwick gave us was immeasurable. What a huge loss. Matthew A. Cherry has tweeted this incredibly truthful evaluation: Chadwick was really there and shot all those huge activists during the fight against stage 4 bowel cancer. Dude. Strong isn’t even a word. Ava Duvernay shared a photo with Chadwick Bozman and other black actors, Ava Duvernay wrote : Black Hollywood is small. Like a small village. …a devastating absence. Chad was way below us. We’ll miss him, we’ll never forget him, we’ll love him – always.
I have relatively few words – Chadwick quickly became the bait of black Hollywood, and he meant a lot to many people, especially little black children. His loss was so sudden and unexpected for almost everyone, which makes it even more terrible. There’s nothing more to say. Thanks, Chadwick. You’ll be missed.
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