CBS has discovered the lead for its new "Star Trek" series. According to Entertainment Weekly, "The Walking Dead" star Sonequa Martin-Green has been cast in the as-yet-unnamed lead role.
The report describes Martin-Green's role as a “lieutenant commander with caveats.” Back in August, Bryan Fuller -- who is no longer attached to the project, but was expected to be showrunner at the time -- discussed his goal for the character, saying, “We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view... To see a character from a [new] perspective on the starship -- one who has different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context.” As such, it seems that CBS will continue to pursue his vision, at least in this regard.
When contacted by EW about Martin-Green's involvement, CBS Television Studios had no comment.
If you're concerned about what Martin-Green's casting means for her role on "The Walking Dead," you can breathe easy. According to the report, she will "continue to serve as a series regular" on the series, though it's worth noting that the hit AMC show has a habit of killing off main characters at unexpected times.
Additionally, Martin-Green will be the first African-American woman to headline a "Star Trek" property. “'Star Trek' started with a wonderful expression of diversity in its cast … we’re continuing that tradition,” Fuller explained at the time. “We wanted to paint a picture of Starlet that’s indicative of encountering people who are much more different than we are.”
Martin-Green joins a previously announced cast that includes Michelle Yeoh as Starfleet Captain Georgiou, Doug Jones as Science Officer Lt. Saru and Anthony Rapp as astromycologist Lt. Stamets. “Penny Dreadful” alum Shazad Latif will also play the prominent role of Klingon commanding officer Kol, with Chris Obi (“American Gods”) playing T’Kuvma, a Klingon leader who seeks to unite the Klingon houses. Mary Chieffo will portray L’Rell, the battle deck commander of the Klingon ship.
Set a decade after the events of the original “Star Trek,” the series centers on the crew of the Starfleet vessel the U.S.S. Discovery. The season-long storyline will focus on an event from the franchise’s mythology that’s been mentioned but never explored.
Set construction is expected to be complete within the month, with filming of the 13-episode first season targeted to begin soon after at Pinewood Toronto Studios.