Deadline is reporting today that Oscar nominated and Emmy winning Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo has joined Star Trek Beyond in the role of the High Command of the Federation. With the announcement also comes official word that Beyond will be undergoing reshoots next week, although the film is still on track for a July 22 release.
Aghdashloo, known for her roles in 24 and her recent work on SyFy’s The Expanse, is the first Iranian actress to win an Emmy, which she won for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role in House of Saddam.
Her performance on the first season of The Expanse, which is currently scheduled to start shooting its second season next month in Toronto, has been anything but subdued. Her character, Chrisjen Avasarala, is the United Nations Assistant Undersecretary of Executive Administration and proves herself a powerful, and sometimes downright scary, adversary for her enemies. Will her role as a member of the Federation’s High Command draw inspiration from Avasarala? If so, be ready for Aghdashloo to deliver up some intense on-screen moments.
Given that she is just being added to the cast for what is being portrayed as minimal reshoots, it is not clear how prominent her role will be in Beyond. Nevertheless, having a strong Iranian women in a position of power within The Federation (perhaps the President of the Federation or some ranking member of “High Command”) will be a winning move for Star Trek, which has often put men in those positions.
Shohreh Aghdashloo has delivered a powerful performance as Chrisjen Avasarala in SyFy’s The Expanse
Reshoots for Beyond: What does it mean for the film?
Before you start to worry that Beyond is on the chopping block or that its release may be delayed, it’s important to remember that reshoots are often a normal part of the filmmaking process. As TrekCore points out, The Wrath of Khan, Generations, and Insurrection all underwent reshoots before their theatrical release. That famous shot of Spock’s casket sitting on the surface of the Genesis planet? That wasn’t in the original script and was only added after negative viewer reaction during test screenings.
So far, there is no reason to assume that Beyond will be delayed. That said, it is unusual for a film to add a new character this late in the game, particularly one that seems to be relatively important to the plot given the caliber of the actress chosen for the role.
While the film is undergoing some last minute changes, we will all have to keep waiting on baited breath for the next trailer. Or poster. Or comic book. Or literally any official promotion of this movie.