Academy Award nominated actress Angela Bassett has officially joined the cast of Marvel’s Black Panther directed by Creed helmer Ryan Coogler.  Bassett will play the role of Ramonda, the mother of T’Challa/Black Panther.

Bassett joins the cast including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira.

Boseman will play T’Challa, the prince of the African nation of Wakanda, who must take over the throne after his father’s murder. Marvel unveiled the character in Captain America: Civil War last May and his standalone film hits theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.  Nyong’o will star in the Marvel film as Nakia, a woman from a rival village who serves as a bodyguard and potential wife for Black Panther (Boseman). Gurira joined the cast as Okoye, a friend to Nakia and also serves as a bodyguard to the king, and Jordan will star as Erik Killmonger.

Black Panther has been one of the most important characters in the Marvel Universe, as he was the first black superhero introduced in mainstream comics. This certainly makes his arrival on the big screen and in his own film extremely significant.

Joe Robert Cole is co-penning the script with Coogler. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is producing the movie.

Black Panther will begin filming early 2017, and is scheduled to hit theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

Bassett’s career has spanned well over two decades.  She has starred in classic 90’s films such as Boyz ‘N the Hood, The Jacksons: An American Dream, Malcolm X, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale, What’s Love Got To Do With It, and more.  Most recently she was seen on the big screen in London Has Fallen, in the Spike Lee adaptation of Lysistrata, Chi-Raq, and recently reprised her role as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs in London Has Fallen.  Bassett can currently be seen on the latest installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, and will soon star in the mini-series Close to the Enemy.