Angela Bassett has joined the cast of Marvel’s film adaptation of Black Panther. ET has learned that the Oscar-nominated actress will play Ramonda, mother of T’Challa (a.k.a. Black Panther played by Chadwick Boseman).
Bassett, who starred on the most recent season of American Horror Story, adds to the Marvel film’s impressive ensemble cast. She joins Oscar winners Lupita Nyong'o and Forrest Whitaker, Creed star Michael B. Jordan, The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira and Black Mirror breakout Daniel Kaluuya. Martin Sheen and Andy Serkis, two previous Marvel Universe stars, are rumored to reprise their roles in the new standalone project directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed).
Black Panther will tell the story of T’Challa’s rise to power in Wakanda, when the film debuts in theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.
The project also represents a significant moment for superhero films. Not only is Black Panther the first major black superhero to get his own film, but his story will shift the narrative to Africa, albeit in a fictionalized country. “I grew up seeing a lot of superheroes and they didn’t look like me and they certainly weren’t in Africa,” Gurira, who plays Okoye, head of bodyguards to Black Panther, told ET of the film. “I think that it is something great for girls who are like me growing up. Growing up in Africa, we were looking for images we couldn’t always find.”
In 1994, Bassett was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for What’s Love Got to Do With It. Since then, she’s been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards, including two seasons of American Horror Story. In addition to acting, Bassett has been busy adding directing credits to her name with a twist-filled episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke and Lifetime’s Whitney Houston biopic. She’ll next be seen in the upcoming miniseries, Close to the Enemy, with Freddie Highmore and Alfred Molina.