Michelle Yeoh, star of the critically-acclaimed Chinese martial arts movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is set to star in Star Trek: Discovery, the upcoming CBS All Access television revival of the beloved science fiction franchise.
The identity of Yeoh’s character remains unconfirmed, but she is believed to playing a Starfleet Lieutenant Commander. This is a break from Star Trek tradition, which usually puts a commanding officer in the lead.
“I know Michelle Yeoh is in it,” Nicholas Meyer, told Coming Soon. Meyer is a consulting producer on Star Trek: Discovery and was also the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Executive producer Bryan Fuller has previously stated that the lead of Star Trek: Discovery will be referred to as “Number One” in honor of Majel Barrett, the actress who portrayed a character called “Number One” in the original pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, “The Cage.” Number One was the first officer to the pilot’s lead, Captain Christopher Pike, played by Jeffrey Hunter.
The late Barrett was also Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s wife. She was considered “the First Lady of Star Trek” by fans, and is better known for playing Nurse Christine Chapel in Star Trek: The Original Series, Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for provided the voice of the computers in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and most of the Star Trek movies. Barrett died in 2008.
According to Fuller, the original pitch to CBS suggested that Star Trek: Discovery never reveal Number One’s real name, just as Barrett’s Number One never had her real name revealed. However, Fuller said the character’s real name would be revealed by the end of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season.
Yeoh is best known for her role as Yu Shu Lien in Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Yeoh reprised that role for the sequel, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, which was released in the United State on Netflix’s streaming service. She also had a recurring role, Lotus, in the second season of the Netflix original series Marco Polo.
Star Trek: Discovery is being executive-produced by Fuller, with Gretchen Berg, Aaron Harberts, and Akiva Goldsman.
Star Trek: Discovery takes its title from the name of the ship featured in the series, the USS Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery is set 10 years prior to the events of Star Trek: The Original Series. While returning to the core Star Trek theme of exploration, the first season of Star Trek: Discovery is said to feature a season-long story arc dealing with a known event from Star Trek history that has so far been talked about but never visited directly by the franchise.
Star Trek: Discovery will premiere in May 2017 on CBS. Following that, the series will move to CBS All Access in the United States, and to Netflix and other streaming services globally.