Oscar winner Holly Hunter joins the cast of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy

The new Star Trek show is not playing around as they draft Academy Award winner Holly Hunter, best known these days for voicing Elastigirl in The Incredibles, as the head of Starfleet Academy.
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Oscar winners have been on Star Trek shows before, including F. Murray Abraham, Louise Fletcher and Whoopi Goldberg, who had a long-running role on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But it's always impressive when it happens. Now, Holly Hunter will join that group with a lead role in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.

Starfleet Academy will be set in the 32nd century, at a school where young cadets learn the dos and don'ts of exploring the galaxy. Hunter will play the captain and chancellor of the Academy, according to Variety. The cast will include teachers and students, with Hunter presiding over the lot of them.

“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.'”

Hunter has been tearing it up onscreen for years, ever since she broke out in the 1987 Coen Brothers movie Raising Arizona. Since then, she won and Oscar for her work in the 1993 movie The Piano, and was nominated for 1987’s Broadcast News, 1993’s The Firm and 2003’s Thirteen. She appeared as a corporate player in a couple seasons of Succession on HBO, and is best known these days for voicing Elastigirl in The Incredibles movies from Pixar.

There's release date for Starfleet Academy as of yet, but the fact that they're casting Hunter is a sign that they're taking this show seriously. The series will also feature an enormous set, a two-story high academic atrium with an amphitheater, classrooms, a mess hall, and a walkway lined with trees.

Clearly, Paramount believes in the power of Star Trek to bring in viewers; they've invested plenty in the final frontier over the past several years, bringing to bear shows like Star Trek: Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks and Prodigy. Starfleet Academy will take a different sort of tack, with a cast that mostly stays in one place rather than going all over the galaxy.

Part of me wonders if Paramount should slow down and focus on one or two Star Trek projects it really knows will work, but it's also fun to see the studio aim this high.

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