From House of Cards creator Beau Willmon, the sci-fi drama is about the first manned mission to Mars which is sent to explore the possibility of human colonization. Her character is being kept under wraps for now, but Deadline suggests she'll be playing the CEO of the company behind the Mars mission.
McElhone is currently shooting the second season of Designated Survivor, where she's the second-billed star behind Kiefer Sutherland, playing First Lady Alex Kirkman. She'll switch over to filming to The First when she finishes her work on this season of Designated Survivor, which kicks off Wednesday.
The First will go into production later this year and is slated to premiere on Hulu and Channel 4 in the UK sometime in 2018.
(This story has been updated to reflect that McElhone will not be leaving Designated Survivor. Her schedule will allow her to work on both series this year, an ABC rep confirmed to TV Guide.)
Designated Survivor Season 2 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 27 on ABC.