A few weeks ago young Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin was tragically killed in an accident involving his car, not long before the release of his latest adventure as Ensign Pavel Chekov in Star Trek: Beyond.
Since then, series producer (and director of the first two rebooted Trek films) JJ Abrams has announced another sequel that will see the crew of the Enterprise on a voyage involving Chris Hemsworth as Captain Kirk’s lost father – but Abrams says he won’t be recasting Yelchin’s character to appear alongside them.
“I would say there’s no replacing him,” Abrams told Postmedia Network. ”There’s no recasting.
“I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.”
When pressed on whether this meant that Chekov would face an onscreen death, Abrams added: “I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it.”
However, he was more willing to discuss the “heartbreak” he and the crew had faced making this movie (which Justin Lin directed), during which the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, also passed away.
“We knew going into this movie it would be a bit of a heartbreak just because of Leonard,” Abrams said.
“We had no idea just how devastating events would become.”
Star Trek: Beyond will be released in cinemas on Friday 22nd July