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Martin Freeman Couldn’t Believe Chadwick Boseman Hid Cancer Battle


  • Martin Freeman reflected on Chadwick Boseman’s death as the new “Black Panther” premiere approaches.
  • The pair costarred in the original Marvel film, released prior to Boseman’s death in 2020. 
  • “Losing him was awful. It was dreadful,” Freeman told Sky News. “But it was also inspirational.”

As the release date for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” fast approaches, Martin Freeman took time to reflect on the film’s original lead: Chadwick Boseman. 

Speaking of his late costar in an interview with Sky News on Saturday, Freeman said he couldn’t believe that no one working at Marvel Studios knew the actor was suffering from colon cancer prior to his death on August 28, 2020. He was 43.

“I couldn’t believe that nobody knew,” Freeman, 51, said. “I was saying to people at Marvel, ‘Come on, you must’ve really known.'” But they would tell him that in all honesty, they had no idea, he added. 

Knowing that Boseman battled cancer while starring in “Black Panther,” taught Freeman a lesson, he added. 

Nate Moore, Florence Kasumba, Andy Serkis, Michael B. Jordan, Letitia Wright, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, director Ryan Coogler and executive producer Victoria Alonso attend the European Premiere of “Black Panther” in London, England on February 8, 2018.

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

“You can never complain again, you can’t complain about ‘Oh we’ve been waiting around a bit long or my tea is a bit cold,'” he said. “When people are capable of this superhuman act of fortitude.”

“Losing him was awful,” Freeman said. “It was dreadful the manner in which we lost him, but it was also inspirational.”

While Boseman’s death means he will not be reprising his role as King T’Challa, the Black Panther, in the film’s sequel, Freeman and many other castmates from the original are set to return. These include Angela Basset, Lupita Nyong’o, and Letitia Wright. Newcomers include Michaela Coel, best known for being the creator and star of the acclaimed HBO series, “I May Destroy You.”

And during a 2020 investor day presentation, Marvel president Kevin Feige confirmed that they would not be recasting T’Challa.

The sequel, which closes out “Phase Four” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is slated for a November 11 release date, hitting cinemas four years after the first movie premiered. 


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