Ming-Na Wen Lands Lead Role in ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Series

Published 1 year ago by

 Ming Na Wen Lands Lead Role in S.H.I.E.L.D. Series

Marvel Studios already has everyone talking this week with the release of the first trailer for next year’s Iron Man 3. That film, of course, will follow the events of The Avengers and kick-off Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe.

However, the studio is also moving forward with its S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, the pilot for which will be co-written and directed by Joss Whedon. Fans are still reeling from the announcement that Clark Gregg would reprise his role as Agent Phil Coulson in the series, despite his fate in The Avengers. While we still don’t know exactly how Coulson will factor into the series (as discussed in the latest Screen Rant Underground podcast), we do know who’s going to be joining him onscreen.

According to Deadline, Whedon has cast Ming-Na Wen as one of the leading stars of the S.H.I.E.L.D. series. The actress – known for her television roles on ER, Stargate Universe, and Eureka – will play Agent Melinda May, described as “an ace pilot, a weapons expert and a soldier who can – and has – gone beyond the call of duty.”

 Ming Na Wen Lands Lead Role in S.H.I.E.L.D. Series

This is reportedly the same character referenced as Agent Althea Rice in the character descriptions that were revealed a few weeks ago. According to that character description, May also goes by the nickname “The Cavalry” and has been “damaged from previous combat experience.” It almost sounds as though the character will be haunted by her past in a fashion similar to Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) on Whedon’s Firefly.

Alas, Ming-Na’s character – as is the case with the rest of the announced lead characters – is an original creation for the S.H.I.E.L.D. series. The prospect of a series set in the Marvel universe naturally lends itself to include heroes and villains that fans might recognize from the comics, but it looks like Whedon’s series is committed to not relying on the decades of Marvel comics for inspiration. Of course, this could upset some fans, but it may ultimately make for a more satisfying viewing experience. After all, even fan-favorite Coulson bore no comic book representation prior to his appearance in Iron Man.

Are you looking forward to seeing what Ming-Na brings to the role? Or would you have preferred that Whedon cast one of his previous collaborators in S.H.I.E.L.D.? Let us know in the comments.

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Source: Deadline

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TAGS: agents of shield

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  1. Come on they have to put a few heroes in here and there and especially villians spend most of the budget on their costumes and Ill be good. It’d be cool if Marvel used their pool of movie directors to direct episodes so they all feel apart of this universe Alan Taylor the dudes from Community all tv experience specially Taylor

  2. Summer Glau should be in this. She has the martial arts training (watch Serenity if you beg to differ) and is one of Joss’ regulars.

    • I would watch anything with Summer Glau starring in it
      … then again, I was going to watch SHIELD anyway, sooooo.

    • Would also love to see Gina Torres do a couple of episodes

      • And Nathen Fillion and Adam Baldwin and Mark Shepard

        • Yes to all 3! Preferably Fillion as Hank Pym tying into the Antman movie… Starlord wouldn’t make since. Wouldn’t need full-time scheduling if he was finishing Castle.

          No Ming-Na!!

    • Of course there is the “Glau Curse” to consider. Where she stars, the shows tend to get canceled. Re-occurring roles is a bit more hit and miss but I am waiting for the axe to fall of Alphas now simply because she has been on it a couple of times.

  3. This show needs to be REEEALLY well done and funny if they are not putting any heros or regular marvel characters in it. Otherwise sounds like it could be a snoozefest

  4. I think it’s a great idea to have the main cast as original characters. They can still include known Marvel characters as guest stars later on.
    After all, I don’t even know how many actual human SHIELD agents are in comic canon, besides the big characters like Fury, Hill, Sharon Carter etc.
    This will be a series about human characters, so new characters are needed. We will already have Coulson, which is great.
    I very much want to see Agent Black from Item 47 (Titus Welliver) and Agent Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández), he was in two one-shots and also in The Avengers, so he would be a great addition.
    Maybe both can be recurring, but not in the main cast, perfect links to the movies after all :)

    I am all for human marvel villains, some smaller ones hat SHIELD can deal with. I don’t believe that they won’t put any marvel characters in it, only not in the main cast.

    I don’t really know Ming-Na Wen that well, but Whedon creates amazing female characters so I bet she’s gonna be awesome.

    I am still very excited for this show. :D

  5. She sucked the life out of every scene she was in on SGU. Not a good choice IMO.

    • haha, I’m not the only one who remembers her from SGU. I don’t recall her being THAT bad however she never really shined either.

      There are PLENTY of better Sci-Fi actors out there that I would have chosen over her. Michael Shanks comes to mind first.

  6. She was like in 5 episodes of Eureka and was awful in all of them. Terrible choice for any role.

  7. I imagine this show will be like watching the lower ranking Shield officers. The ones who are still part of the “company” but dont have high enough clearance to interact with the big-boys. It’ll have Agent Coulson (who either faked his death, a clone, or alternate Universe (you never know)) handling and mentoring these younger, fresh agents. Thats how you can have it in the same universe without bringing in big names. Story lines will deal with cleanup of superhero battles and general training/grunt work that all young agents go through. Shield is a massive organization, and it’ll be easy to find some workers part of Shield that dont meet the Superheroes. Maybe have a seasonal subplot where an actual Marvel villain shows up and they single handedly defeat him without the superhero help. Every so often reference something that happens in the movies, a character gets promoted and appears in the next film, or a cameo by Hawkeye or James Rhodes. Keep the overall story line completely separate from the movies, but make subtle hints to remind people that this is still one universe. I imagine it’ll look a lot like Star Trek Next Gen

  8. Doesn’t matter how many times you say it, it won’t be true ;)

  9. I have no idea who this woman is.

    Anybody got a clue when they might start production on the pilot?
    Will it be ready for next year’s tv season, or might they still squeeze it in this year?

    • I just looked her up in wikipedia and it has her listed for the SHEILD TV show. It says 2013.

      But hey its Wikipedia. So take that with as much salt as you have on hand.

    • I’m wondering the same thing…
      Also, how many episodes will each season be? Will it be 22-23 which is the norm for a network like ABC or will it be 10-13 like most cable networks?

  10. Maybe Coulson will be a program, somehow his likeness could be a hologram, like the doctor on startrek voyager, or maybe stark’s jarvis. Then that consciousness in the shield computer is transferred into a robotic body by Hank Pym, and badda bang! Vision! clark gregg acting as a robot trying to be coulson, yeah I’m onboard. Put him in Antman, and then Vision is set up to fight Ultron in Avengers 3!

    It could happen.

    • You have it backwards….This implies using Thanos in #2 so having Ultron in #3 would be severely anti-climactic. Thanos has to be saved for the third and presumably last installment so use Ultron in #2.

      • PLUS……this allows us to add Vision to the roster for #3 to help fight Thanos. How can you argue with that?

  11. Fit in 2&1/2 men, acting was poor though.

    • did she play the judge that was dating Charlie?

      • Yep

  12. Gabe Jones needs to be in this.

    • Hell yea! Have either Fred Williamson or Richard Roundtree play Gabe.

  13. Coulson must be a living, walking, talking person. No holograms, no flashback, no video files. Whether its a robot, clone, or alternate time line coulson, he’s gonna be a physical person, or it’ll just look stupid

  14. they could do like what they are doing with arrow, or something like it, by having smaller. marvel villians appear in several of the episodes. or have season arcs where they are after a marvel villian who they confront with at the finale. that way they wont take away any of the big villians from the films. and they wont need a mega budget either.

    I think it would be cool to have some Whedon regulars appear, either as guest stars or reacurring roles.

  15. I do like the comic book genre, but just hope that the Coulsen scenes are flashbacks or something of that sort because the recurring killing of characters and coming back through some bs explanation is getting old and cheesy.

  16. i think this is great, on both counts. “In Whedon we trust”

  17. Nobody has mentioned this. If coulsen is in the series it’s very likely that it takes place before the Avengers.

  18. Simple, the Agent Coulson who died in the Avengers movie was a LMD (Life Model Decoy).

  19. It may be a simple solution to us fans but if they bring coulso back before the sequel which isnt out for three years,
    People who dont watch the show will be confused how he came back.
    And the show could be cancelled rather quickly.
    If they want to reverse Coulsons death,
    The TV show is the wrong place to do it .