Lupita Nyong'o pays tribute to Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman on the first anniversary of his death. On August 28, 2020, the 43-year-old actor died after a private, four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman's tight-knit cast of Marvel co-stars, including Nyong'o, Letitia Wright, and Danai Gurira, was reportedly unaware of Boseman's illness the actor battled during the production of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Da 5 Bloods, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, his final live-action appearance. With filming underway on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where Nyong'o reprises her role as Nakia, the actor remembers the friend and co-star who portrayed the regal King T'Challa of Wakanda:
"I did not know that I could miss both his laughter and his silence in equal measure. I do. I do," Nyong'o wrote alongside a candid snapshot shared on Twitter. "One year after his passing, the memory of @chadwickboseman remains this alive in me."
I did not know that I could miss both his laughter and his silence in equal measure. I do. I do... One year after his passing, the memory of @chadwickboseman remains this alive in me. pic.twitter.com/4y7H7Bhtpo— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) August 28, 2021
Marvel Studios also marked the first anniversary of Boseman's death with a social media tribute to "our friend, our inspiration and our King." The Disney-owned studio commemorated Boseman's birthday in November with a special tribute on Disney+, where Black Panther opens with an updated Marvel Studios logo dedicated entirely to Boseman's appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Boseman expected to reunite with director Ryan Coogler for Black Panther 2, which Nyong'o revealed was "reshaped" to reflect the real-life loss of the T'Challa actor. Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president and Black Panther producer, confirmed Boseman's role would not be recast for the sequel titled Wakanda Forever.
"People will ask me, 'Are you excited to go back?' Excitement isn't the word. I feel like I'm in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. His passing is still extremely raw for me," Nyong'o told Yahoo! of Boseman in April. "And I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there... But at the same time, we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well."
Nyong'o added: "And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we've all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we're still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure."
Below are other tributes from Boseman friends and fans, including his Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo:
Can’t believe how fast time has gone. Thinking of you today, @chadwickboseman.
📸 Sam Jones pic.twitter.com/uKzLevgOe4— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 28, 2021
From Sebastian Stan on Instagramprevnext
One year without Chadwick Boseman. Thank you for watching over us. We miss you King. 🖤🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/lJZipbAR9H— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) August 28, 2021
From @joshgad and @johnpavlovitz
Not a day goes by one year later, where it doesn’t still hurt. But in the darkness, he always reminds us of the light. He was an angel on this planet and is now a Saint on high. Love you and miss you more than ever… forever. #ChadwickBoseman https://t.co/uHOa8jLEKq— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 28, 2021
It's astounding to know how much #chadwickboseman carried for so long, while doing such brilliant work and being such a source of light and joy for others.
What a well-lived, courageous life.#WakandaForever— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) August 28, 2021
From @strongblacklead and @Liahiveolsen
It's Chadwick Boseman's smile for us ❤️ pic.twitter.com/txYwmMywOl— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) August 28, 2021
Honoring our friend, our inspiration and our King, Chadwick Boseman. pic.twitter.com/hpgocpe24p— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) August 28, 2021