JJ Abrams has decided that Anton Yelchin's character, Pavel Chekov, will not be recast for future Star Trek movies. "I would say there's no replacing him," the producer told the Toronto Sun. "There is no recasting. I can't possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better."
Anton, who was tragically killed in a freak accident on 19 June, played Chekov in three Star Trek reboots. His third and final film, Star Trek Beyond, is scheduled for release this week.
Anton Yelchin's character will not be recast for future Star Trek films
JJ said he was unable to say whether or not the next Star Trek film will include the death of Anton's character. "I have thought about it, we're working on it, and it's too early to talk about it," he said.
Co-star Zoe Saldana echoed JJ's sentiments when she appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week. "He had just turned 18 when we met him and he was the youngest one of the crew and I almost feel like he was the wisest one," the actress said.
"So it was a terrible loss. We're mourning – he's an irreplaceable person and the kindest person. And he loved what he did."
The 27-year-old appeared in three Star Trek movies as Pavel Chekov
It was confirmed on Monday that Chris Hemsworth will be joining the cast for the fourth Star Trek instalment. He will reprise his role as the father of Captain Kirk, described as "a man he [Kirk] never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born". Chris first appeared as George Kirk in the first Star Trek movie in 2009.
The remaining cast – including Chris Pine (James T Kirk), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Dr Leonard McCoy), John Cho (Hikaru Sulu) and Simon Pegg (Scotty) – are also expected to return for the upcoming fourth film.