As the Marvel Cinematic Universe moves forward, Marvel has continued to add to the growing and impressive list of actors that play a part in that universe. Big names such as Michael Keaton, Sigourney Weaver, Kurt Russell and Forest Whitaker have joined the MCU in recent years, with the latter being one of the newest names to join the cast of Black Panther. That film’s cast also includes Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, and more – but with pre-production winding down, the cast is only going to continue to grow.
During Captain America: Civil War, audiences got the chance to meet T’Challa’s father, but with his solo movie taking the focus back to Wakanda, the opportunity is there to explore more of T’Challa’s lineage. It appears the movie will do just that, with Marvel having now added yet another well-known actress to the MCU, to play Black Panther’s mother.
Marvel has confirmed that Angela Bassett has joined the cast of Black Panther as the hero’s mother, Ramonda. With T’Challa reigning over the fictional country by the time the film picks up, his mother’s advice will surely be something that he will seek. Bassett is an Academy Award-nominee and has recently appeared on multiple seasons of American Horror Story.
With Marvel already casting the bigger supporting characters around T’Challa, the addition of Bassett is the first step in them branching out his family tree. Previous castings have been for villains, elders, or members of his personal body guards the Dora Milaje, and now we can include T’Challa’s mother as part of the cast.
Ramonda is actually his stepmother in the comics, after his biological mother N’Yami died during childbirth. It will be interesting to see if there is any reference to this staying true for the big screen version of the character. Either way, Ramonda and T’Challa should have a close relationship throughout the film as they figure out how to rule of Wakanda in the aftermath of T’Chaka’s death.
Since Ramonda is the first member of T’Challa’s family to get cast, it opens up the door for more family members to join in roles of various sides. One of the highly requested roles for the film is T’Challa’s stepsister Shuri, who is the daughter of Ramonda and T’Chaka. Shuri has taken on the Black Panther mantle in the comics before and would be another strong and powerful female character for the film to add. It was initially thought that Nyong’o could have this role, but with her playing Nakia, the role of Shuri is still available. There has yet to be any direct reference to Shuri having a role in Black Panther, but with Bassett now on board as their mother, it is one step closer to happening.