<i>S.H.I.E.L.D.</i> Recruits Ming-Na

ER actress Ming-Na has landed a central role on Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.LD., joining fan favorite Clark Gregg, whose involvement in the ABC pilot was announced earlier this month at New York Comic Con.

According to Deadline, Ming-Na will play Agent Melinda May (listed as Althea Rice, aka, "The Calvary," in the casting breakdown), described as a soulful, and slightly damaged, ace pilot, and weapons expert "who can -- and has -- gone beyond the call of duty."

Targeted for ABC's fall 2013 lineup, the S.H.I.E.L.D. the pilot centers on the global espionage and law-enforcement agency that’s helped to provide the connective tissue between the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whedon will co-write the pilot with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen, who will serve as executive producers/showrunners along with Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias).

Joss Whedon has said the project will be “autonomous” from The Avengers and its 2015 sequel, promising, “It’s gotta be a show that works for people who haven’t seen the Marvel movies. It will please Marvel fans, I think.”

Certainly fans were pleased by news of Gregg's addition to the series, chanting "COULSON! COULSON!" when the actor was brought onstage at New York Comic Con. "He's headlining the S.H.I.E.L.D. show and always was." Whedon announced in a video message.

In addition to ER, Ming-Na is also known for her roles in The Joy Luck Club and Street Fighter, and on Syfy's Stargate Universe. She's also lent her voice to Mulan, The Batman and Kingdom Hearts II.

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