The cast of Marvel's planned Black Panther movie already is considered elite... insane, even, when you realize it's a comic-book movie. Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) inherits Chadwick Boseman, who was first introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War. And he's surrounding him with awards-garnering talent, the latest of which would be Angela Bassett.
The Oscar nominee has been cast in 2018's Black Panther movie as Ramonda, mother of T'Challa in the solo spinoff Marvel movie, Marvel Studios announced today via press release. Bassett joins an already impressive cast that includes Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, and Florence Kasumba. The beauty of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it continues to add ridiculously talented actors in supporting roles that enrich the entire tapestry of interchangeable parts.
Of course, this isn't Angela Bassett's first dance with the superhero genre. The powerful actress whose credits include London Has Fallen and What's Love Got To Do With It? also played Amanda Waller in the failed Green Lantern movie built around Ryan Reynolds. Ironically, DC Films has rebounded, Reynolds rebounded (as Deadpool), Waller rebounded (played by Viola Davis in Suicide Squad), and now Bassett has rebounded, finding her way to the MCU.
This hire rounds out what we'd assume is most of the cast. Ramonda is known in the Marvel Comics as The Queen Mother, though she is T'Challa's stepmother (his birth mother, N'Yami, is deceased). There's a long story that plays out in the books about Ramonda leaving T'Challa when he was a boy, only for the hero to learn later that she didn't leave, she was kidnapped. I doubt Coogler's movie will go into such depth in Black Panther's debut story.
The irony of that situation is that we barely got to know King T'Chaka, Black Panther's father. Portrayed by the actor John Kani in Captain America: Civil War, T'Chaka was murdered by a bomb placed near his conference by Baron Zemo. So by the time Ryan Coogler's Black Panther follows Chadwick Boseman back to Wakanda, Angela Bassett's Ramonda will be his strongest parental figure. That's an interesting change in the MCU.
Black Panther is expected to film in Atlanta. It's working its way to a February 16, 2018 release date.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.