Producer J.J. Abrams has decided that Anton Yelchin's Pavel Chekov character will not be re-cast for future Star Trek movies.
"I would say there's no replacing him," Abrams told the Toronto Sun. "There's no recasting. I can't possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better."
The late Anton Yelchin, who died June 19 in a freak accident, had played the Chekov character in the three reboots. The third film in the revamped franchise premieres on Wednesday at Comic-Con in San Diego and opens in theaters on Friday.
Abrams told the newspaper he could not disclose if the next Star Trek film would include the death of Chekov's character. "I have thought about it, we're working on it, and it's too early to talk about it," he said.
Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Bad Robot announced on Monday that they were going ahead with the fourth film in the rebooted Star Trek series, starring Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth. They disclosed that Pine's Captain Kirk will cross paths with his father, described as "a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born."
Hemsworth, who appeared in 2009's Star Trek, will return to the space saga in the father role as George Kirk. The remaining cast - which includes Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho and Simon Pegg - is expected to return.
J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will write the screenplay. J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce through Bad Robot Productions. David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance will executive produce.
The announcement did not indicate who will direct. Justin Lin directed Star Trek Beyond from a script by Doug Jung and Simon Pegg.
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