In an interview with Variety, director Spike Lee has opened up for the first time about Chadwick Boseman's death.

Spike Lee directed Chadwick in 'Da 5 Bloods', a Netflix movie about Vietnam war veterans.

It would become one of the actor's final film appearances after his tragic death at the age of 43 from colon cancer.

The film follows four veterans who return to Vietnam in search of their squad leader's remains.

Chadwick Boseman plays their leader, "Stormin'" Norman Earl Holloway, who appears in flashbacks.

Spike Lee, also known for directing such films as 'Blackkklansman' and 'She's Gotta Have It', said he "didn't know Chad was sick" during the shoot.

He added: "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."

He also spoke of understanding why the actor kept his diagnosis a secret: "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 also spoke about seeing the scene in which Boseman's character is bathed in light in the jungle differently since the death of the actor.

He said: "It was God’s heavenly light. We didn’t have light. You know, Delroy’s talking to the camera, talking about his conversation with God? We go up, and we come down and we find this heavenly light. It’s Chadwick standing in that light, in that pose. That was God up there. I don’t care what nobody says.

"That was God’s heavenly light, because that scene’s not lit. That’s natural light. And that was God sending heavenly light on Chadwick. Paul, played by Delroy Lindo, he says, “I died for you.” I mean it was hard to look at the film again for me since his transition. It is just a whole ’nother experience."

He concluded: "There’s a line in the movie where Clarke [Peters] says he’s the best damn soldier ever. And Chadwick was — is — a soldier. This is conjecture: There’s a possibility he thought this might be his last film. And God gave him one more with “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” But now looking at that, he was playing it. Stormin’ Norman says, “If I have to go out, I’m going gangbusters.” And that’s what he did."