S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot Recruits ER Alum Ming-Na

Marvel SHIELD TV ShowMing-Na is joining the cast of Joss Whedon’s ABC pilot Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.

She’ll play Agent Melinda May, an ace flier and weapons expert, our sister site Deadline reports.

The character — a kinda damaged, but immensely soulful former soldier — sounds like a modified version of the Agent Althea Rice role we first learned about earlier in October.

RELATED | ABC Orders S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot From Joss Whedon

The forthcoming pilot is based on a peacekeeping group that appeared in various Marvel comics and in the summer blockbuster film The Avengers, which Whedon wrote and directed. The title’s acronym refers to a secret peacekeeping organization called  Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

RELATED | S.H.I.E.L.D. Casting News: Clark Gregg to Reprise His Avengers Role

In addition to playing ER‘s Jing-Mei ‘Deb’ Chen off and on for a decade, Ming-Na’s TV credits include VanishedTwo and a Half MenSGU Stargate Universe and Eureka.

What do you think of the casting? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. adam says:

    Awesome! Can’t wait for this show!

  2. Isaac says:

    I remember her from SG:U far more than I do ER.

  3. Tom Charles says:

    Good choice, can’t wait to see what others are cast

  4. Mark says:

    Mulan! Awesome :) I like her.

  5. Dreamrose says:

    This series has a lot of things going for it, but the pressure is intense and the expectations unbelievably high. Ming-Na is a fine actress, and I hope she’ll be an asset to S.H.I.E.L.D., and I definitely look forward to hearing who else emerges in the leading roles.

  6. Jordan says:


  7. Pao says:

    Now we need them to cast Tom Welling. =P

  8. Hayden says:

    They better use Cobie Smulders

  9. Rachel says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, she was awful on Eureka :(

  10. I miss Stargate Universe :(

  11. Leo says:

    Summer Glau on this.

    Come on, Whedon.

    • Guy says:

      Show killer.

    • Mark says:

      Please please no. I’d be so upset cause I’m looking forward to this show so much.

      • John DeMayo says:

        What’s wrong with Summer Glau?

        • Midori004 says:

          She can’t act.

          • John DeMayo says:

            Really? Then you clearly haven’t seen “Firefly” or “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. Granted, she appears weak in her other stuff like “The Cape”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, and that Lifetime movie (“Deadly Honeymoon”, I think?), but when given the opportunity to play a memorable sci-fi role, she delivers big time. She brings a quiet, subtle intensity to the dialogue scenes, and in action scenes… well I probably don’t have to even make a case for her there.

          • Mark says:

            I hated her in Firefly! She was my least favorite part of it. A shame, cause I really liked the show otherwise.

          • reasonating says:

            I like to call this, “The Mystery of Summer Glau”. So many people LOVE her and think she is a great actress, but then so many of us can’t stand her and think she is a TERRIBLE actress. How can this be? Most of the time it is more consistent when people judge a person’s acting ability, but Summer Glau bucks the trend. Personally, I find her acting wooden and flat and just plain weird. Weird affect, weird voice, crazy look in her eyes, even when not playing crazy… The first show I haven’t been annoyed with her acting has been recently, in Alphas. But, that doesn’t really erase the constant badness of every other role I’ve seen her in. And being a sci-fi nerd, that covers just about everything she’s ever done. So, I’m wondering, the people who think she is a great actress, are you mostly male, and think she is hot so don’t notice the terrible acting or something?

          • Alan says:

            yes im a guy, yes i like summer glau and think she is attractive but that is not why i like her acting. she brings a nice otherworldly quality to her acting when she is playing a crazy person or an emotionless robot that set the character apart from the rest of the cast. to me she always seems to make herself stand out in large casts, especially firefly, out of the 9 main cast members from firefly only nathan fillion and adam baldwin’s performances were more captivating in my opinion.

  12. gary says:

    Good first casting movie.

  13. Jon says:

    Love Ming-Na. Great casting coup.

  14. Ok now cast Minka Kelly…………. Im just joking people, that be very bad.

  15. Juli says:

    Is this the first confirmed casting for the show?

  16. K says:

    Does this woman ever age? Is that her superhero power?

  17. TV Gord says:

    I can’t wait to see her in a SHIELD uniform! :-) I have enjoyed her in everything I’ve seen her in

  18. Drewer says:

    Oh my goodness, she was so, so great on ER, I’m psyched, she’ll make a great secret agent.

  19. Sarah says:

    Excellent start to the casting!! I can’t wait for this show.

  20. Ace says:

    Yes! Awesome casting choice! Can’t wait!!! (BTW, I’m still holding out hope for Cobie Smulders, too!)

  21. Kalee says:

    So the Asian actress Ming-Na could’ve originally played the character of Althea Rice? Rice? Slightly racist naming averted!

    • Alan says:

      eh, the name probably changed before she was cast. character names change very frequently in the early stages of development of a show

  22. Shaun says:

    She is pretty old….can she even do action anymore?On SGU she was kinda boring.

  23. tez says:

    They should have waited to see if nikita gets cancelled then cast tmaggie q in the role. Shes a badass

  24. Susan says:

    I want Tom Welling in the cast! Tom is a fantastic actor…..I miss TOM WELLING . Yes Tom!!!!

  25. Brigitte says:

    Would love to see Tahmoh Penikett, James Marsters and Amy Akers!!!!

  26. Nina says:

    Anson Mount as Grant Ward!!

  27. DarthShadows44 says:

    I agree summer sucks.