With this weekend's release of Star Trek Beyond, producer J.J. Abrams who directed the first two films, is out doing press for the movie. With the recent announcement that a fourth film will be happening, how would the franchise handle the death of Anton Yelchin who played Pavel Chekov. Abrams addressed the issue with the Toronto Sun.
I would say there's no replacing him. There's no recasting. I can't possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.
Ironically, Yelchin's character gets his most screen time in the new film. Abrams spoke about how the film was already emotional going in.
We knew going into this movie it would be a bit of a heartbreak just because of Leonard (Nimoy, the original Spock, who died as Star Trek beyond was in pre-production, and whose death is noted in the plot). We had no idea just how devastating events would become.
As for how Chekov will be written out.
I have thought about it, we're working on it, and it's too early to talk about it.