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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Excelsior!

Whedon Casts a Bonafide Disney Princess for S.H.I.E.L.D.


Though I guess some people know her from, like, this show called ER, or something? Or, Street Fighter, Stargate, or Eureka. But Ming-Na (who has also worked under her full name, Ming-Na Wen) is also the voice of Disney’s Mulan, even in such non-movie projects as Kingdom Hearts. Multiple Kingdom Hearts games.

The Macau-born, Hong Kong and American raised actor is our first confirmed new addition to Joss Whedon‘s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot (not counting Clark Gregg, since his Agent Coulson is a known character), in the role of Melinda May, and just because that name isn’t familiar might not mean we don’t know anything about her.

TV Line gave a run down of those who would be “among” the major characters of the show, which included names like Skye, Agent Grant Ward, Agent Althea Rice, Agent Leo Fitz, and Agent Jemma Simmons, and brief character descriptions. It did not, however include anyone named Melinda May, but that might not mean we haven’t already been introduced to her.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Melinda May is “a top-notch pilot, weapons expert and soldier who is described as being soulful but damaged by her time spent in combat.” That sounds awfully similar to the description TV Line published of Agent Althea Rice,

Agent Althea Rice: Also known as “The Calvary,” [sic] this hard-core soldier has crazy skills when it comes to weapons and being a pilot. But her experiences have left her very quiet and a little damaged.

My guess? Ming-Na is playing Rice, but with an understandable post-casting name change. Ladies and gentlemen, meet our newest S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, one of the main characters of the show, and what seems like the heavy hitter, combat-wise.

Now lets all sit quietly and wait for more casting news. Did I say sit quietly? Lets bounce up and down in excitement.

(via The Hollywood Reporter.)

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  • Anonymous

    I’m very happy to see a woman of color was the first role cast. One of my issues with the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been that it’s incredibly white in addition to being mostly-male, so I’m happy to see an Asian actress being recruited for SHIELD.

    Now here’s hoping she doesn’t die….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003137988874 Elani Temperance

    I, for one, am very happy to have Ming-Na back into action! Welcome to the Marvel universe!

  • http://twitter.com/miztransmission Sophie

    YES.

  • Anonymous

    I was definitely holding out for Anna Torv as Althea Rice. But I’m okay with this too.

  • Sarah

    Not to mention, the most BADASS Disney princess by a mile.

  • http://twitter.com/kmsouthard Kate Southard

    yesss

  • Anonymous

    Great casting choice!

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Ooooh I really like her. Didn’t she also play Aki from Final Fantasy Spirits Within?

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE Ming-Na! She’s a great actress! Can’t wait to see her as a bad-ass solider!

  • Anonymous

    The last show I watched at length with Ming-Na in it was Stargate Universe (season 1 and a bit of season 2). I am not heartbroken that the show was canned. I credit my feelings about SGU mostly to the story and the direction but I also remember being critical more than once about the presentation of characters, specifically Wray, Ming-Na’s character.

    I am a Whedon fan though so of course I am going to watch S.H.I.E.L.D. I have higher hopes for Ming-Na with better direction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    Seconded.

  • http://twitter.com/seriouslyyouguy you guys

    Oh, come on, mentioning Street Fighter is underhanded. Then again, so is mentioning Stargate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    Everything I hear about the show makes me more and more excited. I think (after Coulson) I’m most excited for the nerdy scientist duo, though. (A potentially platonic nerdy guy-girl BFF? Oh please make it happen, Whedon!)

  • Anonymous

    Oh, the universe needs more platonic cross-gender relationships. So many.
    I get frustrated with shows that feature a male/female duo, and everyone’s all, “When will they give it up and just **** already?” Then we have Sherlock, with its male/male duo, and everyone’s all, “When will they give it up and just **** already?” Seriously? Are men not allowed to have friends? Or is it that only ladies can have freinds, because feelings?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Bazilio/100000132443742 Eric Bazilio

    Yes but… can’t we find something a little better to remember the poor girl by?

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree.

  • Anonymous

    Agent Coulson should come back as the Vision