Marvel has announced that Angela Bassett has joined the cast of Black Panther in the role of Ramonda, mother of T’Challa.
Bassett, who played Amanda Waller in Green Lantern, was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It, and her current turn in American Horror Story has earned her two Emmy nominations. She’s also won a Saturn Award for her role in Strange Days, and has numerous other awards and nominations.
Production is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2017, with Ryan Coogler directing from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole. Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa, who inherited the title of Black Panther after his father was killed in Captain America: Civil War.
In the comics, Ramonda is the second wife of T’Chaka after the death of N’Yami, mother of T’Challa. She’s the mother of Princess Shuri, T’Challa’s half-sister. Originally from South Africa, she was later abducted and abused by a white supremacist named Anton Pretorius until freed by T’Challa. Pretorius isn’t among any characters listed in the cast, so it’s likely this story line won’t play out in the first film.
The cast includes Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Martin Freeman (Everett Ross), Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger), Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaw), and Winston Duke (M’Baku/Man-Ape). No details on story are available as of yet.
Black Panther is in theaters February 16, 2018.