J.J. Abrams Casts 'Star Trek's' Chekov
Russian-born Anton Yelchin joins the crew
Director J.J. Abrams has cast "Alpha Dog" actor Anton Yelchin as "Star Trek" crewmember Chekov, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Popularized in "Star Trek: The Original Series" by actor Walter Koenig, Pavel Andreievich Chekov was the Russian navigator among the U.S.S. Enterprise's bridge crew. The character wasn't actually introduced until the series' second season and was occasionally played for laughs, especially his curious speech impediment that caused him to pronounce his "v's" as "w's" as in "nuclear wessels."
Chekov is the second character to be cast after Spock, who will be portrayed at different ages by "Heroes" actor Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy, the original half-vulcan. Casting is still underway for James T. Kirk, Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, the film's villain and the Federation captain. Abrams is expected to sign bigger-name actors for the latter two parts.
Although no official plot has been revealed, it's believed that the younger casting indicates that the movie will chronicle the Enterprise crew during their time at Starfleet Academy.
The film is scheduled for release on Christmas Day 2008.
Yelchin, 18, is a Russian-born actor who last appeared in "Alpha Dog." His other big-screen credits include "Along Came a Spider," "Hearts in Atlantis," and the upcoming "Fierce People" and "Charlie Bartlett."