Star Trek: Discovery has landed a cast member: Michelle Yeoh is the first actor to join the highly anticipated new series coming to CBS All Access.
Rumor of the casting first broke Tuesday after one of the show’s producers, Star Trek filmmaker Nicholas Meyer, let slip in an interview that Yeoh was on board. CBS Television Studios is still not confirming this news, but we’ve been hearing she’s indeed set.
Yeoh will play a ship’s captain in a recurring role, but reportedly not the show’s female lead — who is lieutenant on a starship called the Discovery. Deadline says the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Tomorrow Never Dies actress will actually play a character named Han Bo and will be the leader of another ship named the Shenzhou. Still, Yeoh will play a significant role in the show’s first season.
Star Trek: Discovery‘s former showrunner Bryan Fuller has previously said he wanted to cast a woman of color as the lead lieutenant character. The new show will be set at least a decade before the original series, which followed the exploits of Captain Kirk. “Star Trek started with a wonderful expression of diversity in its cast. … Our lead of the show is going to be subject of that same level of who’s the best actor and also what can we say about diversity on the show,” Fuller said in August. “We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view; to see a character from a different perspective on the starship — one who has a different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context.”
The first new Star Trek series in more than a decade was first announced last November. The initial plan was that the show would become the first original series to launch on CBS’ streaming service. But in September, CBS pushed the show’s expected premiere date from January 2017 to May because the project was taking longer than expected, partly due to its struggle to find an ideal cast. Shortly after that, Fuller stepped down from the production’s command chair and was replaced by Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts.
For more details about Star Trek: Discovery, see Fuller’s revelations from last summer’s TCA conference.