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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Finds First Cast Member in Michelle Yeoh

Variety logo Variety 11/24/2016 Elizabeth Wagmeister
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Star Trek: Discovery” has welcomed its first cast member aboard — actress Michelle Yeoh.

Sources tell Variety the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” star will be a recurring character on the upcoming CBS All Access sci-fi drama.

CBS declined to comment on any casting inquiries.

The Malaysian-born Yeoh is best known to U.S. audiences for her work in director Ang Lee’s 2000 martial-arts film. Her other credits include “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Sunshine,” and this year’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.” Her series credits include Netflix’s “Marco Polo” and Showtime’s “Strike Back.”

Though the blog ComingSoon.net reports that Yeoh has “likely” been cast in “Discovery” as the lead female Lieutenant Commander, Variety sources say she is absolutely not the lead, and that role is still open. Our insiders say while casting has been underway, CBS has been looking for a younger, African-American or Latina actress. The network is not seeking a huge star and would prefer a fresh face for the part.

The casting process for the lead role has spanned more than three months at this point and the show is having difficulty settling on a star — however, a handful of names have been floating around for some time.

“Discovery” is set to be the first new “Star Trek” series since “Enterprise,” which aired in syndication from 2001 to 2005. The new series was greenlit last year with the intent that it would become the first original scripted series exclusive to CBS’ streaming service All Access. But the series has been subject to delays and creative-team changes. In September, citing production demands, CBS bumped the series’ premiere to May, moving “The Good Wife” spinoff “The Good Fight” into the February perch previously occupied by “Discovery.” The following month, executive producer Bryan Fuller stepped back from his role as showrunner, handing day-to-day operations for the series over to fellow exec producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, who were joined by Akiva Goldsman in a top creative role.

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