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Who Could Replace Anton Yelchin As Chekov?

Three Actors Who Might Be to Play Chekov in Star Trek

Anton Yelchin, as Pavel Chekov in the new series of Star Trek movies, brought an irresistible combination of enthusiasm, boyish charm, and smarts to the role. He made a strong impression in the role of Chekov in Star Trek, helping to define the character for a new generation of Star Trek fans. In the wake of Yelchin’s tragic passing, and given that he made such a lasting impression, would it be possible to recast the role for a new actor, or would the studio be better served creating a new role / character for the new Star Trek franchise?

Personally, I feel like a new role / character may be the more appropriate option for the new Star Trek films, but whatever route the studio decides to take, there are a three actors I feel could help carry on the lighthearted, charming spirit of the role.


Rami Malek
Rami Malek in Mr. Robot

Photo: USA Network

Currently most well known for his lead role as Elliot Alderson in the USA Network’s Mr. Robot, Rami Malek has proven he has strong dramatic acting ability. But if you look at some of his previous support roles, such as in the Night and the Museum series, or in Tom Hank’s romantic-comedy Larry Crowne, you can see strong evidence that he also possesses a fair amount of comic ability and charm.


Michael Angarano
Michael Angarano in Wild Card

Photo: Lionsgate

First coming to people’s notice as the young William Miller in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, Michael Angarano has, in a relatively short time, packed in an impressive number of performances covering a variety of genres. More recently, Angarano turned in an excellent, and nuanced performance as Dr. Bertie Chickering in the Cinemax series The Knick, easily keeping pace with co-star Clive Owen.


Nicholas Hoult
Nicholas Hoult in X-Men Days of the Future Past

Photo: Fox

Though most recognized currently for his roles as Beast in the recent X-Men films, Nicholas Hoult first stepped into the spotlight in 2002’s About a Boy, handily stealing scenes from co-star Hugh Grant, and displaying a knack for awkward charm. And more recent roles in Mad Max: Fury Road and the aforementioned X-Men movies (First Class, Days of the Future Past, Apocalypse) have continued to deliver on his promise as an actor.

The new series Star Trek cast

Is there an actor you feel like could carry on the role of Chekov in Star Trek for the new series? Let us know in the comments.

Images: Paramount

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48 Responses

    1. Anders Clark


      I hadn’t considered the possibility of Sam Heughan stepping into the Chekov role in Star Trek. I’m not very familiar with his work, outside of watching the pilot for Outlander and pieces from further episodes, but he’d definitely be an interesting choice. Bonus: in an interview with William Shatner (yeah, THAT Shatner) he copped to being a sci-fi fan, and of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in particular.

  1. kevin

    Out of respect to Anton Yelchin the character should not be recast. Yelchin was excellent as Checkov. With his sad death only hours prior to the publication of this article I find this question of him being replaced totally distasteful.

    1. Bryan Stewart

      No one can replace the person. The role in the movie must be recast though and I see no disrespect to a person by discussing what will happen with a role in a movie. On the other hand…making a role they played embody their whole existence by deciding a casual discussion about it is sacrossanct I DO believe disrespects the individual. If you are gonna be PC, be PC correctly.

      1. wagonball

        Anton was a great guy but he is not bigger than the role of checkov.Anton would shudder if he heard you say this.

  2. Stace

    I don’t think they should replace him. I think it would be a dishonor in a way. There is really no need to anyway. It’s an alternate universe. Many ppl have already died in totally different ways and way earlier then before. He could die in a freak warp core accident. Or murdered. Maybe his shuttle was shot down by Klingons, and the next movie can be all about revenge. They can use his voice to create lines and use some cgi to show a fuzzy on screen convo showing his death. but if you insist on replacing PLEASE do not pick rami Malik. I hate that guy. Why not get an actual Russian with an authentic accent for Tribble sake!!

    1. Anders Clark


      I don’t quite get the dislike for Malek, and I think he’s been doing a fine job on Mr Robot. I’d definitely be interested in a Russian actor for the Chekov role as well, should they recast. Do you have any suggestions?

  3. Marc

    It’s a new timeline so maybe out of respect, the character Chekov should not be recast. After all, it was him that made the character who he is. I vote for a null recast as a nod to Anton and his family.

  4. Stace

    I just don’t like him. It’s probably because I don’t like the mr robot series. I can’t think of anyone to replace him. I googled young Russian actors and there aren’t very many out there in Hollywood. Anton was pretty unknown before Star Trek and that’s probably what they will have to look for if they do replace him. Again tho, I don’t see the need. His character isn’t essential to the story. It’s not the TOS. It’s an alternate universe. Spocks mom is dead! Spock is now technically dead too or are they going to replace Nimoy?? Sometimes you just have to go where life takes you.

    1. Barb debban

      I think that Anton would want the role he played to continue and I think it would be homage to him if it did. If it could be possible to find the best actor possibly unknown so that his acting would be true homage to Anton. I will miss him greatly and I pray that he has found peace!

  5. Stace

    You know what the writers failed to do with pavel? The original pavel use to say thing like the garden of Eden was right outside Russia. He use to attribute famous English quotes to Russia. He was famous for being kind of naive and child like. Anton didn’t capture that aspect and I place full blame
    On the writers. If they were to bring in someone new is have to insist they make him more like the original pavel.

    1. Anders Clark

      Ha. Watching that made me want to go back through the original series again. You’re right, Walter Koenig brought some great humor to the role. On a side note, have you ever watched Babylon 5? Koenig’s recurring role as Bester in that was awesome. Made me wish he was cast more often.

      1. Stace

        Speaking TOS I’d LOVE TO SEE MORE KLINGONS in the next movie. Like General Chang!! Maybe pre eye patch! Also guinan. That’d be awesome if whoopi Goldberg played her!! And was all like “something doesn’t feel right” lol. I still think they could bring back Chekhov, played by Walter Koenig himself! Say pavel gets sucked into a worm hole and ages 70 years!

        1. Stace

          I’d just really like to see some old well known characters, you know? is there a thread to recommend such characters on here? And how do we give these great ideas to Abrams?

  6. Stace

    Actually no I’ve never seen Babylon 5. There are a few sci fi shows I haven’t seen yet. I just got done watching the entire first (and last) season of Alien Nation, one of my top 5 favorite shows. maybe I’ll watch Babylon 5 next. I like watching reruns years later. It’s new to me and I don’t have to wait months between seasons!

  7. Gabe

    I hope they DO recast the Chekov part, no disresepct to Yelchin, but what makes Star Trek (and other franchise stories like it) great is that the characters live on despite what actually happens to the actors. I mean look at the original cast of Star Trek, they were iconic, all great actors and now only a few are still around – should we stop the series from telling new stories because of that? I hope not.

  8. Louie

    With no disrespect to Yelchin, Walter Koenig actually wasn’t cast as Chekov until season 2 of TOS, and through season 3, he had several scheduling conflicts, which brought him to only star in 36 of the original 79 episodes. That’s fewer than half! It would be no disservice to cast somebody as a crew member such as Dave Bailey or Arex. I think that such a move would be a positive sign to hardcore Trekkies.

  9. Dialook

    I like Marc’s idea too.
    In this new alternate timeline, for the first movie, JJ Abrams was inspired by TOS as well as The Animated Series. In TAS, Walter Koenig could not voice act for the show due to budget reasons, so they relaced him with Lieutenant Arex as the three extremitied Edosian navigator.
    I think that Lieutenant Arex should make a CG comeback.

  10. Guy

    If they decide to recast Chekov they should look at Broadway’s Benjamin Cook. He may be a little young, but he’s very talented and charismatic. I’d say he’s an up and coming Broadway star, but he’s already starred in Billy Elliot. He looks a lot like Anton Yelchin .

  11. Phil

    I think they replace him with a new character as well, although this likely will end the J.J.Verse series of films. Say good bye to star trek 4

  12. Leilani

    I don’t understand the comments to write off or kill the character. This is a reboot of the Star Trek characters backgrounds and how it ask began. We’ve seen the movies and TV series where Chekhov is present, alive, and older. How can he be written off before he grows old. It won’t be true to Star Trek canon. If the movies will continue, the part will have to be recast, just like the Joker, in the Batman series. Heath died, but true to the Batman story, Joker still had some living and actions to do. You can’t rewrite the story and eliminate a main character. Batman with no Joker, Star Wars with no Chewbacca, Justice League with no Flash, Avengers with no Hulk… It doesn’t work, nor does it make sense.

    1. Steve

      This is an alternate reality, so there is no canon that needs to be followed. They COULD kill off Chekov without any repercussions… just like they destroyed the planet Vulcan, Spock’s mother and Captain Pike.

  13. ??????

    I look at it this way.he was a good man but he would not Like it if you didn’t bring Chekov back .your not replace him you are keeping the part in a good show alive.

  14. Lancia

    Maybe Logan Lerman? He has chops for serious parts, and just enough boyish charm to carry naivete when appropriate.

  15. Ckblaze

    Just write a twist which has the Yelchin Chekov winding up to be the father of the kid who eventually served on Kirk’s ship. He can be Easter egged into the next movie. He can be like eight or so years old with that familiar dark bowl cut. It would fix the problematic issue of Chekov’s age being too close to Kirk in these new movies and it would be respectful to Anton at the same time.

  16. Shaun

    I would like to see Lt. Arex from the animated series brought into the cast. What better way to fulfill IDIC than by adding more members to Starfleet from the 150 or so worlds that make up the UFP. And they could have Walter Koenig voice the character.

  17. Mark

    Bear in mind that Star Trek is going to outlive all its cast members, so eliminating roles when actors die will not work. The creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, would have been thrilled with having a Russian actor play Chekov. As a lifelong Star Trek fan I am telling you we absolutely must have a Russian actor to play Chekov. Give Putin a call to help us out, scour the steppes and tundra if necessary, but don’t settle for anything less. It is crying shame we lost Anton Yelchin. He was so perfectly cast that I don’t blame people for considering ending the role, but I seriously doubt he would want that.

  18. Stace

    So since Anton is NOT being recast now, let’s discuss what’s next. I think it would be really neat if they used cgi to show Anton being sucked into a worm hole. And come out what would be seconds in our time but 60 years for him and have Walter Koenig play him.

    1. Anders Clark

      You know, that’s a crazy idea, but I’m behind it if it gets Koenig back into the role. I’d like to see him come back.

  19. Biff

    Chekov shouldn’t be recast. Anton IS Chekov in the alternate reality. What about Lt. Herndorf (Cupcake) taking over the duties of Chekov? He’s established and already has a certain report with several shipmates.

  20. Thomas Gage

    After speaking with my wife, we both think the writers should come up with some creative way to insert a female version of Checkov as the original character list is too heavy with male characters. Can anybody say Tuvix ?? It would let star trek get back to its roots

  21. Court

    I don’t think they should replace Chekhov with a new actor considering that is new series and everyone already knows him as being played by Anton Yelchin I think they should get rid of Chekov characture and create a new characture in order to fill his role. Maybe they could bring back another characture from the orginal series to fill his place or maybe this might sound alittle strange they could create a new characture that has some ties to TNG like maybe they could be the ancestor of one of the TNG charactures and that could play out in the plot of one of the movies that would be really cool.

  22. Kevin

    Easy solution: bring back Walter Koenig! Weeping Angel him (if you know Doctor Who). At the beginning of the next movie have Chekov somehow transported to the past and become stuck there. Then have old Chekov (Koenig) seek out the crew with some vital information that will assist in the new adventure. It allows the next film to continue that connection to the old films that Leonard Nimoy can no longer provide, while keeping the crew complete.

  23. Xfoneguy

    Antonio was great as Chekov and he certainly deserves to be remembered. However, the death of an actor should not equal the elimination of a character that has had such an important role in the storyline. Where would the line be drawn if other actors would meet with an untimely passing? Do we get rid of Spock? Kirk? I don’t think so.

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