“Star Trek Beyond” hasn’t even hit theaters yet and fans are already wondering about the next film. They know they’ll be missing a fan favorite character, Chekov. Producer J.J. Abrams confirmed that actor Anton Yelchin will not be recast after his sudden death.
“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.”
As previously reported, Yelchin, 27, was found dead in his front of his home on June 19 after a freak accident. His car rolled down the driveway and pinned him to the security gate. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office listed his official cause of death as blunt traumatic asphyxia, according to Us Weekly, and said he likely died within a minute of the accident.
After his death, Abrams wrote a note to the Russian-born actor. “You were brilliant. You were kind. You were funny as hell and supremely talented. And you weren’t here nearly long enough,” a handwritten message pictured in a tweet read. Yelchin’s parents, Irina and Viktor Yelchin, have taken out a full page ad in the Hollywood Reporter to thank the entertainment industry for their support.
In the month since Yelchin’s death, Abrams has had to consider the future of the “Star Trek” franchise. The producer added that he still isn’t sure how “Star Trek 4” will address Chekov’s absence. He has contemplated killing the character, but no decisions have been made yet. “I have thought about it, we’re working on it, and it’s too early to talk about it,” he said.
“Star Trek 4” was officially announced Monday, Variety reports. Abrams will produce with Lindsey Weber and Bad Robot Productions. A director has not been announced, but much of the cast is expected to return. Chris Hemsworth, who appeared in 2009’s “Star Trek” and 2011’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” will also make a comeback as George Kirk.
“Star Trek Beyond” hits theaters Friday.