"My last conversation with him was calling to ask if he wanted to read [the script] before I got notes from the studio," Ryan said. "That was the last time we spoke. He passed maybe a couple weeks after I finished."
"He was tired. I could tell he was tired," he said. "I could tell he was laying down when we were talking."
During Ryan's final conversation, Chadwick was accompanied by his wife, Simone Ledward Boseman. "He kicked Simone out because he told her he didn't want her to hear nothing that could get him in trouble with his NDA," Ryan joked through audible tears.
Ryan said it was hard to get ahold of Chadwick at the time. He and Denzel Washington were trying to reach him because Chadwick had just starred in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, produced by Denzel and starring Viola Davis.
The four-time NAACP Image Award-winning director wanted Chadwick's approval for the sequel script, but the actor refused to get in the way of the studio's notes. Ryan shared, "I found out later that he was too tired to read anything."
But, news of Chadwick's condition surprised many of his fans and collaborators, and the script evolved following his passing. Ryan discovered that Chadwick kept his condition private the entire time he portrayed T'Challa. "I found out he was sick since I known him. He was sick when I met him. The first time I met him was 2015."
Ryan shared the moment he learned the news of Chadwick's passing. "I was at my house," Ryan said. "I got a call from my manager Charles King. He called and told me, and I didn't want to believe it, so I called Denzel [Washington], and I spoke to him and we thought it might be a rumor, so I texted Chad, I was in denial."
"Everything about Chad was unique," Ryan said. "How he lived and how he died was unique."