Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. casts first actress, challenges assumptions about this being a total Whedonverse reunion
Out to defy our expectations—or simply forced into circumstance because our suggestions keep getting cast on other shows—Joss Whedon seems to be looking beyond the edges of the Whedonverse to cast his S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot. He's given the show's first original role, that of Agent Melinda May, to Ming-Na Wen, known in some circles as the voice of Disney's Mulan and for her turns on ER and in The Joy Luck Club, and in some outside circles shouting at that confused inner circle that, no, she's Chun-Li in Street Fighter. She'll join the returning Clark Gregg and his resurrected/life model decoy of Agent Coulson as a pilot who's "soulful and slightly damaged by her combat experiences"—a character description that was assigned in that earlier leaked casting call to "Agent Althea Rice" (suggesting there may have been a name change here to avoid it sounding too much like, you know, "Agent Asian Person"). Anyway, all assumptions that Whedon would be returning to his usual acting stable to populate this series have hereby been challenged, at least until Amy Acker shows up.