Star Trek Beyond is finally making its cinematic debut this week, and Paramount are so confident in the film that they've already green-lit Star Trek 4. After his shocking death last month that sequel sadly won't star Anton Yelchin - who has played Pavel Chekov in all the recent Star Trek films - and producer JJ Abrams has no plans to recast the character:
"I would say there’s no replacing him. There’s no recasting", Abrams confirmed to Postmedia Network. "I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better".
When asked whether Chekov would be killed off, Abrams added "I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it".
This feels like the right decision; Star Trek 4 will likely be warping its way into cinemas in just a couple years, and you need a lot more time - and possibly another iteration entirely - to recast Chekov. It does beg the question of how Abrams and co plan to deal with the character's absence on screen, but with Star Trek 4 only in the early script stages it'll be a while before we find out.
Directed by Justin Lin and starring Idris Elba, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and Anton Yelchin, Star Trek Beyond hits UK and US cinemas on July 22, 2016.