Sean Penn's Channel 4 sci-fi thriller adds a new star

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Digital Spy

Sean Penn and House of Cardscreator Beau Willimon have enlisted a new recruit for their upcoming sci-fi thriller The First.

Joining the project – which is set to premiere on Hulu and Channel 4 next year – is Designated Survivor and Californication star Natascha McElhone.

Far removed from the White House, Natascha will be joining The First as it explores the first human mission to Mars.

Photo credit: Theo Wargo / Staff / Getty Images
Photo credit: Theo Wargo / Staff / Getty Images

Although details about both Sean and Natascha's roles are being kept under wraps, we do know that The First will focus not just on the astronauts heading to outer space, but their families and loved ones, as well as the ground team on Earth.

Calling the role a "privilege", Natascha said she is "so excited" to work with 'mavericks' Beau and Sean.

"As well as exploring Mars, I am thrilled to be accommodated by the brilliant planet Hulu and my favourite homegrown one of Channel 4," she added.

Photo credit: Getty Images / ABC
Photo credit: Getty Images / ABC

The First has been created by House of Cards writer Beau Willimon, who will serve as executive producer on the show alongside his producing partner Jordan Tappis.

And while we assume that Natascha will be keeping her role of First Lady in Designated Survivor, we do know that at least one person won't be returning for a second season.

Virginia Madsen (who plays Kimble Hookstraten) has left the show, despite being a pretty big player on the political scene.

Designated Survivor airs on ABC in the US, while Netflix streams the show in the UK.

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