Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are mourning the death of Chadwick Boseman, who was a history-making star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Boseman died on Friday at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, his family confirmed. The actor was the star of the 2018 film Black Panther and was celebrated for his epic portrayal of a Black superhero and king.
On Saturday, the Russo brothers paid tribute to Boseman in a statement shared with PEOPLE.
"This is hard to process," they said. "Chadwick was an incredibly elegant and thoughtful individual who conveyed dignity and integrity in a way that very few could. A tremendous talent who inspired a generation to stand up and be king. He understood something unique and noble about life, and was determined to use his talents in ways that impacted. He had so much to give…"
The Russos, known for Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Infinity War, shared a similar tribute to the late actor on Twitter.
"Honor him by him-show kindness and love to others," the Russo brothers urged their fans and followers. "Share your talents in ways that impact. Always strive to be a light in the darkness."
Several other members of the Avengers cast also honored their late costar on social media.
Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, called Boseman an "immense talent."
"All I have to say is the tragedies amassing this year have only been made more profound by the loss of #ChadwickBoseman. What a man, and what an immense talent. Brother, you were one of the all time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King," Ruffalo, 52, wrote.
"I’m absolutely devastated," Chris Evans, who played Captain America in the MCU, wrote on Twitter. "This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King💙."
Chris Hemsworth, who is Marvel Universe's Thor, mourned Boseman's death, writing on Instagram, "Gonna miss you mate. Absolutely heartbreaking. One of the kindest most genuine people I’ve met. Sending love and support to all the family."
Marvel Studios also shared a tribute on social media. "Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace," the tweet read, posted alongside a picture of him in Black Panther.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said Boseman’s death was “absolutely devastating.”
“He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible,” Feige said. “He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family."
Co-president Louis D’Esposito added, “We are crushed. Marvel has lost a true superhero and friend, but our hearts are heaviest for Chadwick’s family. Chadwick was a singular force whose King T’Challa showed the world the power of good and the meaning of loyalty and friendship. Wakanda forever, my friend.”
Boseman's family confirmed his death on his social media accounts Friday.
"It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman," the Instagram post said. "Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV."
"A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy."
Boseman's family also wrote that the role of King T'Challa in Black Panther was "the honor of his career."
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