Star Trek XI Casting Updates: Yelchin is Chekov, Quinto is Spock
Announced a couple weeks back at the San Diego Comic-Con was the news that "Heroes" star Zach Quinto had been cast as Spock in the upcoming Star Trek XI. The film, to be directed by one of Hollywood's hottest at the moment - J.J. Abrams - is quickly building massive amounts of buzz far out from its December 2008 release. Today's announcement is another important casting one: 18 year old Anton Yelchin will play Russian crew member Pavel Chekov.
Although plot details are still being kept secret, Chekov is the Russian-born navigator of the USS Enterprise. Yelchin himself is Russian born as well, although his performances have always been very American. The story line of Star Trek XI chronicles the early years of the Enterprise crew during their time at Starfleet Academy, hence why the younger actors are being chosen for the roles.
Above are the roles cast so far in comparison to the original actors. From left to right: Zach Quinto / Spock, Anton Yelchin / Chekov, and Captain Kirk. Out of the three shown above, Captain James T. Kirk is the only one that still hasn't been cast yet. In the original series, Chekov was played by Walter Koenig and is a key member of the Enterprise crew.
Just like Zack Snyder with Watchmen, I think J.J. Abrams is the perfect choice for Star Trek XI and so far he's proven that by casting two roles correctly. I'm not a stickler for choosing the wrong actor, but I will say I'm quite impressed. Now he's just got a few very big ones left, including Kirk, that he needs to cast as well. Until then stay tuned for more Star Trek XI updates as they hit.