Yelchin is Chekov in Star Trek

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J.J. Abrams has cast Russian-born Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog, Charlie Bartlett) as Pavel Chekov in Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek. Chekov is the Russian-born navigator of the USS Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk.

Yelchin will join Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy, who will both play the role of Mr. Spock. Casting is under way in New York and London for Kirk, Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, the film’s villain and the Federation captain. Abrams, who will direct the untitled film, is expected to sign bigger-name actors for the latter two parts.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but the story line is believed to chronicle the early days of the Enterprise crew during their time at Starfleet Academy.

Chekov was played by Walter Koenig on the original “Star Trek” TV series, and he is a key member of the Enterprise crew.

Abrams is producing the Christmas Day 2008 tentpole through his Paramount-based Bad Robot. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci wrote the screenplay and will executive produce along with Bryan Burk and Damon Lindelof.