After today’s Los Angeles STAR TREK BEYOND press conference, executive producer J.J. Abrams stated that while he and his team are “incredibly excited” about creating another chapter in the Kelvin Timeline, Anton Yelchin’s character of Chekov won’t be recast.
Said Abrams, when asked if he’s expecting a STAR TREK 4:
It’s hopefully something that we are figurative minutes away from talking about. The answer is 100% yes and it’s incredibly exciting.
Our Los Angeles correspondent @EnterpriseExtra was in attendance at the event – look out for more on that soon – and shared his take on Abrams’ comments:
@LLAPSherlock38 The tone and inference was basically: it is 100 percent likely going to happen but we aren't ready to announce yet.
— Enterprise Extra (@EnterpriseExtra) July 14, 2016
After Yelchin’s untimely passing on June 19, some speculation began to percolate about the fate of the Chekov character – would he be recast? Would a new character be appointed navigator on the Enterprise, such as Arex from the Animated Series?
Well, in an interview with Postmedia Network (via the Toronto Sun), producer Abrams said that the in-universe fate of Pavel Chekov is still being decided – but he won’t be replaced.
We knew going into this movie it would be a bit of a heartbreak just because of Leonard [Nimoy]. We had no idea just how devastating events would become.
I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.
When asked if the character of Chekov might be ‘killed off’ between films, Abrams admitted that was one fate that had crossed his mind – as some online have also speculate – but that it’s way too early for any decisions to have been made.
I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it.
Meanwhile, co-star Zoe Saldana spoke her thoughts on the young actors’ passing, in this video interview with the Associated Press.
STAR TREK BEYOND includes a tribute to the fallen actor, and hits theaters next week.