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The First - Natascha McElhone Cast as Female Lead, Will Exit Designated Survivor

Natascha McElhone is set to star opposite Sean Penn in The First, House of Cards creator Beau Willimon’s straight-to-series drama, slated to premiere on Hulu and U.K.’s Channel 4 in 2018.

British actress McElhone is currently the female lead opposite Kiefer Sutherland on the ABC drama series Designated Survivor, playing President Tom Kirkman’s (Sutherland) wife, Alex Kirkman. She is still filming Designated Survivor‘s second season, which premieres tonight. After wrapping her commitment to the Washington DC thriller drama later this season, McElhone will segue to The First.

Written by Willimon, The First follows the first human mission to Mars, exploring the challenges of taking the first steps toward interplanetary colonization. The story focuses not only on the astronauts, but also on their families and loved ones, as well as the ground team on Earth.

Details about McElhane’s role are not being revealed but I hear her character is described as the visionary British CEO of the company behind the mission to Mars.


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