Back in December, it was reported that The Walking Dead star Sonequa Martin-Green has signed on for the female lead role in the CBS All Access series Star Trek Discovery, although the streaming service never confirmed the casting. On Monday, just hours after The Walking Dead Season 7 finale, the streaming service confirmed the actress, revealing that she'll play First Officer Michael Burnham on the new series. If you haven't seen The Walking Dead Season 7 finale yet, there will be SPOILERS below, along with new details about another casting addition for Star Trek Discovery, Rainn Wilson
The official Twitter for Star Trek Discovery debuted a brief video on Monday morning, confirming Sonequa Martin-Green's casting, which comes less than a day after her Walking Dead character Sasha Williams committed suicide, while being transported from The Sanctuary to Alexandria. Shortly after the actress' Star Trek role was reported, showrunner Scott M. Gimple hinted that he would be willing to "juggle" the schedule for Sonequa Martin-Green to accommodate her role on Star Trek Discovery, but obviously that won't be necessary now. Earlier reports claimed Sonequa Martin-Green would still be able to shoot both shows, but that was months before The Walking Dead season finale, when her character Sasha was killed.
As for Sonequa Martin-Green's new role, former showrunner Bryan Fuller revealed before stepping away from the series that the show's lead character will be a "lieutenant commander with caveats," and Sonequa Martin-Green's casting confirmation cements two iconic firsts for the franchise. Star Trek Discovery will now be the first Star Trek show lead by an African-American female, while also being the first show to center on a character who isn't the captain, with her character Michael Burnham serving as the First Officer. CBS All Access also recently announced the addition of yet another cast member, Rainn Wilson.
Rainn Wilson is set to appear in Star Trek Discovery as Harry Mudd, the charismatic conman and intergalactic criminal first introduced in the original Star Trek television series. The Emmy nominated actor's credits include The Office, and the films Super and Meg, opposite Jason Statham, a pre-historic shark tale. He joins a cast that also includes Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Doug Jones as Lt. Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and a new alien species to the Star Trek universe, Chris Obi as T'Kuvma, the Klingon leader seeking to unite the Klingon houses, Shazad Latif as Kol, the Commanding Officer of the Klingons and protégé of T'Kuvma and Mary Chieffo as L'Rell, the Battle Deck Commander of the Klingon ship.
Star Trek Discovery will also feature the first openly-gay character, Lt. Stamets, played by Anthony Rapp, an astromycologist, fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Discovery, along with James Frain as Spock's father, Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca, captain of the Starship discovery, and Mary Wiseman as Tilly, a Starfleet Academy Cadet in her final year of study, assigned to the Starship Discovery. Star Trek Discovery is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman's Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller's Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers.
Star Trek, one of the most iconic and influential global television franchises, returns to television 50 years after it first premiered with Star Trek Discovery. The series will feature a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. The series will premiere on the CBS Television Network with all subsequent episodes available on CBS All Access, the Network's digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service, and will be distributed concurrently by CBS Studios International on Netflix in 188 countries and in Canada on Bell Media's Space channel and OTT service CraveTV. Take a look at this brief video introducing Sonequa Martin-Green to Star Trek Discovery.