Star Trek Beyond producer J.J. Abrams, who also directed the first two installments of the rebooted franchise, says he will not seek to recast Ensign Chekov in the wake of actor Anton Yelchin's death. Yelchin played Chekov in three Star Trek films, including the upcoming Beyond.
“I would say there’s no replacing him,” Abrams told the Toronto Sun (via Variety). “There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.”
Yelchin died unexpectedly earlier this year in a freak accident involving his car. The actor was 27.
Abrams could not disclose whether the character of Chekov would be killed in the next Star Trek film, which was recently greenlit, saying “I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it.”
Star Trek Beyond is due out in theaters July 22.