In late-August, Hollywood was shaken after it was learnt that 43-year-old Chadwick Boseman had passed away from colon cancer. His secretive health battle was a years-long fight but in that time, the actor filmed some of his most iconic roles including The Black Panther. And no one would have known that his last appearance would be in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods.
Following four American vets, they return to Vietnam where they seek the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide. In a cover story with Variety, Spike Lee bares all on the death of Boseman.
“You saw that [flag] hanging outside? The thing with Chadwick? I didn’t know Chad was sick,” tells the publication. In his New York home, the director and filmmaker reportedly flies a Chadwick Boseman flag in honour of the late actor.
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“He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer. It was a very strenuous shoot. I mean, we all didn’t get to Vietnam until the end of the movie at Ho Chi Minh City. But that other stuff, the jungle stuff, was shot in Thailand. It was 100 degrees every day. It was also at that time the worst air pollution in the world. I understand why Chadwick didn’t tell me because he didn’t want me to take it easy. If I had known, I wouldn’t have made him do the stuff. And I respect him for that.”
Lee recalls the day he learned of Boseman’s death and how the recent Netflix film has completely changed following the news. After rewatching it, Lee brings light to a pivotal moment where Boseman’s character delivers an iconic line. “Stormin’ Norman says, “If I have to go out, I’m going gangbusters.” And that’s what he did.”