Paramount Pictures

Following actor Anton Yelchin’s tragic death last month, the Star Trek actor will forever remain Pavel Chekov in this current iteration of the franchise. J.J. Abrams, who directed the first two Star Trek films in the series reboot and produced this Friday’s Star Trek Beyond, has confirmed to The Toronto Sun that Yelchin’s character will not be replaced in future films.

"I would say there’s no replacing him," says Abrams. "There's no recasting. I can't possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better."

As for the fate of Chekov beyond Star Trek Beyond, Abrams still isn’t completely sure how he’ll be written off. "I have thought about it," he explained. "We're working on it, and it's too early to talk about it." 

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Star Trek Beyond would receive a follow-up, with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and more regulars all expected to return for a fourth go-round. Yelchin died on June 19 in a car accident.

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