It’s not every day that yours truly gets hyped about casting, but Marvel’s Black Panther film has been a soft spot. The cast is brimming with African and African American talent. From the film’s lead and the Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman to Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o, and The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira, the cast is truly exceptional. So when we fanboys thought the news couldn’t get any better in terms of ideal casting, Marvel dropped a heavy one on us and announced Angela Bassett (American Horror Story) as Ramonda, T’Challa’s Queen Mother.
Now for those wondering what the big deal here is, besides being an immense talent, Bassett was one of the fans top picks for the role of Storm in the first X-Men trilogy. Why you may ask? Bassett is equipped with the gravitas, the toned physique, and the attitude to play the X-Men’s resident Queen and weather witch. So we’re finally getting Bassett in a Marvel film and the possibilities are thrilling, to say the least. Like Freya in Thor: The Dark World, we doubt Bassett’s role will be a stationary queen. The queens receive the same training as the king’s personal all female based guard, the Dora Milaje.
In the comics, Ramonda is the second wife of T’Chaka, after T’Challa’s mother died during childbirth. Thus far, there’s no idea if any of this backstory will actually make its way into the movie, or if the Queen Mother’s relationship with T’Challa will be simplified. Our bet is on the later, as Marvel will want to focus on the introduction of Wakanda and the brilliant characters associated with it.
In addition, Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle), Daniel Kaluuya (Black Mirror) and Forest Whitaker (Species) are also part of the ensemble cast, with Creed director Ryan Coogler at the helm. Production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017 and Black Panther hits theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.
Images: FX, Marvel Studios