Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett has just joined Marvel’s Black Panther as T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda. As the cast for Ryan Coogler’s anticipated solo movie for Black Panther grows, it’s interesting to see the film borrow characters currently playing big roles in Marvel’s Black Panther comic from Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Ramonda is the former Queen of Wakanda, wife of the late King T’Chaka, and mother to T’Challa and Shuri. She is currently an adviser to T’Challa in the current comic books, helping the King of Wakanda navigate the social and political unrest sweeping through his country. While the film adaptation wouldn’t be adapting Coates’ book directly, Coogler has named the comic as a key inspiration, and it’s not a stretch to imagine Bassett’s role as Ramonda in the film being similar to her comic counterpart, especially if it means seeing Ramonda play an integral part to Black Panther’s growing royal court scene.
So far, the Black Panther cast includes Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa; Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, a Wakandan warrior turned Black Panther’s rival; Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, a member of the Dora Milaje; and actors like Winston Duke, Forest Whitaker, and Daniel Kaluuya rounding out Wakanda’s political circles.
While there are no details for the film’s plot yet, the cast is filled with characters who are either political allies, or rivals to T’Challa’s King, making it appear as if Black Panther will be a deeply political film that will focus on the Wakandan court. If so, that would be an interesting direction for the film that focuses on one of Marvel’s most prominent royal families, as well as pave the way for Angela Bassett’s Ramonda to have a key role in the film.
Hopefully fans will learn more about the film leading up to Black Panther’s July 6, 2018 release date.