‘Star Trek: Starfleet Academy’ Series Casts Holly Hunter in Main Role (EXCLUSIVE)

The “Star Trek: Starfleet Academy” series at Paramount+ has cast Holly Hunter in a lead role, Variety has learned.

Hunter’s character will serve as the captain and chancellor of the Academy, presiding over both the faculty and a new class of Starfleet cadets as they learn to navigate the galaxy in the 32nd century.

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“It feels like we’ve spent our entire lives watching Holly Hunter be a stone-cold genius,” said co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau. “To have her extraordinary authenticity, fearlessness, sense of humor, and across the board brilliance leading the charge on ‘Starfleet Academy’ is a gift to all of us, and to the enduring legacy of ‘Star Trek.'”

“Starfleet Academy” will begin shooting in Toronto later this summer, featuring the largest contiguous set ever constructed for a “Star Trek” series, a central academic atrium that will span two stories and include an amphitheater, classrooms, a mess hall, and a idyllic walkway lined with trees.

With its focus on higher education — from the throes of budding romance to the pressures of academic achievement to the angst of painful self-discovery — “Starfleet Academy” is part of a wider strategy to expand what a “Star Trek” show can look like.

“These are kids who’ve never had a red alert before,” Landau told Variety in a March 27 cover story about the future of “Star Trek.” “They never had to operate a transporter or be in a phaser fight.”

Hunter is part of an elite society of actors to boldly go into “Star Trek” after winning an Academy Award, including Whoopi Goldberg, Louise Fletcher and F. Murray Abraham. Hunter earned an Oscar for best actress for her performance in 1993’s “The Piano,” along with nominations for 1987’s “Broadcast News,” 1993’s “The Firm” and 2003’s “Thirteen.” Her career has spanned five decades, from her breakout role in the Coen brothers film “Raising Arizona” in 1987 to her iconic role as the voice of Elastigirl in 2004’s “Incredibles” and 2018’s “Incredibles 2.”

Hunter previously starred in and executive produced the TNT crime series “Saving Grace,” which aired for three seasons. She won Emmy awards for the made-for-television movies “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom” and “Roe vs. Wade.” Most recently, she starred opposite Ted Danson in the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Hunter is repped by CAA, Entertainment 360, and Ziffren Brittenham.

Kurtzman and Landau serve as co-showrunners and executive produce “Starfleet Academy.” Gaia Violo, Aaron Baiers, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Jenny Lumet, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Frank Siracusa, and John Weber also executive produce. The series premiere episode was written by Violo. CBS Studios produces in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

“Starfleet Academy” is the latest addition to the “Star Trek” TV universe at Paramount. Next year, “Section 31” will explore Starfleet’s cloak-and-dagger black ops division in the first “Star Trek” streaming movie, starring recent Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh (reprising her role from “Discovery”). Elsewhere, “Lower Decks,” the first “Star Trek” animated comedy, will conclude its run after five seasons in the fall, while “Discovery” — the flagship show of the revamped “Star Trek” TV projects — will end its run after five seasons on May 30. The popular series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” has been renewed for a fourth season ahead of the third season premiere.

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