National Geographic has begun filming and set full cast for Season 2 of its global sci-fi series Mars, from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and Radical Media. Shooting began this week in Budapest on the six-episode series, which is slated to premiere in spring 2018.

Fiehler & Hall
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Esai Morales (Ozark), Roxy Sternberg (Emerald City), Gunnar Cauthery (Genius), Levi Fiehler (The Fosters), Evan Hall (Orange Is the New Black), Akbar Kurtha (24) Jeff Hephner (Chicago Med) have joined the Season 2 cast.

The second season’s six-part arc jumps ahead several years into the future after the Daedalus astronauts have built a full-fledged colony called Olympus Town. Having established humankind as an interplanetary species, Mars examines the impact that humans have on the Red Planet and the consequences the planet has on us.

Kurtha & Hephner
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Morales will play Roland St. John, CEO of private enterprise Lukrum Corporation; Sternberg is Jen Carson, operation forewoman at the Lukrum mining colony; Cauthery plays Lt. Michael Glenn, the newest addition to Olympus Town and second in command; Fiehler will play Cameron Pate, a molecular biologist tech in Olympus Town; Hall is Shep Master, the wild card of the Lukrum crew; Kurtha portrays Dr. Johar, a psychologist bringing his expertise to Olympus Town; and Hephner is Kurt Hurrelle, leader of the Lukrum mining colony.

Reprising their roles from Season 1 are JiHAE (Mortal Engines) as Hanna Seung, a mission pilot and twin sister of Joon Seung, capsule communicator of mission control; Sammi Rotibi (The Darkest Minds) as Robert Foucault, a Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist; Alberto Ammann (Narcos) as Javier Delgado, a hydrologist and geochemist; Clémentine Poidatz (Marie Antoinette) as Amelie Durand, Fa rench mission physician and biochemist; Anamaria Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) as Marta Kamen, a Russian exobiologist and geologist; and Cosima Shaw (The Danish Girl) as Leslie Richardson, a British nuclear physicist.

Dee Johnson (Nashville, ER) is new showrunner this season. Stephen Cragg (Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder) and Ashley Way (Doctor Who, Homeland) join returning director Everardo Gout (Days of Grace) for Season 2.

“This season takes us literally into new territory,” said showrunner Johnson. “With no laws, no government and no safety nets of any kind, what is it like to be among the first settlers of Mars? Not only do we explore dangers and mysteries of this brand-new world, but we also explore what it means to be human in a place where so few exist.”

Added Wilkes, co-creator and executive producer for RadicalMedia: “The struggle between private industry and scientific exploration is going to come to a climax on the Red Planet just as we have seen it happen on Earth. In fact, the fundamental question we ask this season is can we learn from past mistakes, or are we doomed to make the same flawed decisions on another planet?”

Mars is produced by Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia for NGC. For Imagine Entertainment, Grazer,  Howard and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers. For RadicalMedia, Wilkes is co-creator and executive producer, and Jon Kamen is executive producer.

SAG-AFTRA presidential candidate Morales is repped by APA, Link Entertainment and attorney Eric Feig.