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

Get More: Casting News, Pilots

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 (53)

  • Awesome! Can’t wait for this show!

    Comment by adam – October 24, 2012 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thats too bad, I was loking forward to this show. But every show Ming-Na is on has a very short life span.

      Comment by zacky – October 25, 2012 04:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • ER lasted what 15 years, your point is invalid and makes you look like an idiot

        Comment by Alan – October 25, 2012 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I remember her from SG:U far more than I do ER.

    Comment by Isaac – October 24, 2012 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Good choice, can’t wait to see what others are cast

    Comment by Tom Charles – October 24, 2012 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mulan! Awesome :) I like her.

    Comment by Mark – October 24, 2012 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Dreamrose – October 24, 2012 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • WHERE IS AMY ACKER

    Comment by Jordan – October 24, 2012 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This! If any Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse alum make it, I hope it’s her and Fran Kanz

      Comment by cinephilactic – October 24, 2012 08:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m hoping she’s cast as Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. She’d be perfect!!!!!

      Comment by Mikael – October 25, 2012 08:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Now we need them to cast Tom Welling. =P

    Comment by Pao – October 24, 2012 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d prefer Tom Lenk, really.

      Comment by Mitholas – October 25, 2012 02:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They better use Cobie Smulders

    Comment by Hayden – October 24, 2012 03:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. We need to have Cobie Smulders around for at least the pilot.

      Comment by Mars777 – October 24, 2012 06:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, she was awful on Eureka :(

    Comment by Rachel – October 24, 2012 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I miss Stargate Universe :(

    Comment by Michael Sacal – October 24, 2012 03:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Summer Glau on this.

    Come on, Whedon.

    Comment by Leo – October 24, 2012 03:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Show killer.

      Comment by Guy – October 24, 2012 04:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Please please no. I’d be so upset cause I’m looking forward to this show so much.

      Comment by Mark – October 24, 2012 04:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • What’s wrong with Summer Glau?

        Comment by John DeMayo – October 24, 2012 04:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • She can’t act.

          Comment by Midori004 – October 24, 2012 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • 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.

            Comment by John DeMayo – October 24, 2012 07:17 PM PDT  
          • I hated her in Firefly! She was my least favorite part of it. A shame, cause I really liked the show otherwise.

            Comment by Mark – October 24, 2012 08:00 PM PDT  
          • Yes, she can.

            Comment by zerog07 – October 25, 2012 02:07 AM PDT  
          • 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?

            Comment by reasonating – October 29, 2012 09:54 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – October 30, 2012 09:33 AM PDT  
  • Good first casting movie.

    Comment by gary – October 24, 2012 04:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love Ming-Na. Great casting coup.

    Comment by Jon – October 24, 2012 04:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok now cast Minka Kelly…………. Im just joking people, that be very bad.

    Comment by fernando rodriguez (@Fernanaberry) – October 24, 2012 04:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is this the first confirmed casting for the show?

    Comment by Juli – October 24, 2012 04:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No… it’s already been announced that Clark Gregg is reprising his role as Agent Coulson.

      Comment by John DeMayo – October 24, 2012 04:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • But, he’ll only make a guest appearance.

        I was asking about the primary roles

        Comment by Juli – October 24, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • “He’s headlining the S.H.I.E.L.D. show — and always was.” — Joss Whedon. Sounds like a primary role to me.

          Comment by John DeMayo – October 24, 2012 05:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Juli,

          At NYCC It was revealed Clark Gregg will headlining the show as a Series Regular. The Show was conceived during the Filming of The Avengers with intent of Agent Phill Coulson being the lead.

          Comment by Peter Allan Ker – October 24, 2012 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Really? Is he the new Giles?

        Comment by Alice – October 25, 2012 07:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • He is the new Mal. He is HEADLINING the show, meaning he is THE lead.

          Comment by Marco – October 26, 2012 05:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does this woman ever age? Is that her superhero power?

    Comment by K – October 24, 2012 04:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Indeed it is amazing.

      Comment by John – October 24, 2012 06:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Perks of being Asian. Drawback when we’re younger, but alas, we can’t have it both ways.

      Comment by Emily – October 24, 2012 08:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • EXACTLY! I was coming here to comment that!!! OMG!

      Comment by Barbie Furtado – October 24, 2012 08:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t wait to see her in a SHIELD uniform! :-) I have enjoyed her in everything I’ve seen her in

    Comment by TV Gord – October 24, 2012 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh my goodness, she was so, so great on ER, I’m psyched, she’ll make a great secret agent.

    Comment by Drewer – October 24, 2012 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Excellent start to the casting!! I can’t wait for this show.

    Comment by Sarah – October 24, 2012 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes! Awesome casting choice! Can’t wait!!! (BTW, I’m still holding out hope for Cobie Smulders, too!)

    Comment by Ace – October 24, 2012 08:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Unless HIMYM doesn’t continue, I don’t think we should hold out hope. :(

      Comment by cinephilactic – October 24, 2012 08:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So the Asian actress Ming-Na could’ve originally played the character of Althea Rice? Rice? Slightly racist naming averted!

    Comment by Kalee – October 24, 2012 09:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • eh, the name probably changed before she was cast. character names change very frequently in the early stages of development of a show

      Comment by Alan – October 25, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She is pretty old….can she even do action anymore?On SGU she was kinda boring.

    Comment by Shaun – October 24, 2012 10:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They should have waited to see if nikita gets cancelled then cast tmaggie q in the role. Shes a badass

    Comment by tez – October 25, 2012 02:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want Tom Welling in the cast! Tom is a fantastic actor…..I miss TOM WELLING . Yes Tom!!!!

    Comment by Susan – October 25, 2012 10:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Would love to see Tahmoh Penikett, James Marsters and Amy Akers!!!!

    Comment by Brigitte – October 26, 2012 12:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anson Mount as Grant Ward!!

    Comment by Nina – October 26, 2012 03:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree summer sucks.

    Comment by DarthShadows44 – May 12, 2013 09:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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