“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” has cast Paul Wesley in the iconic role of James T. Kirk for the Paramount Plus show’s upcoming second season.
“Strange New Worlds” is due to premiere on Paramount Plus on May 5. It was renewed for a second season back in January, with that season already in production.
The show follows the adventures of Captain Christopher Pike prior to Kirk becoming captain of the Enterprise. Wesley will appear as a young version of Kirk. He is now the third actor to play the character in a live-action project. Most famously, William Shatner played Kirk in the original “Star Trek” series as well as in multiple films. Chris Pine has played Kirk in three “Star Trek” films to date, with a fourth on the way.
“Paul Wesley is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence and a welcome key addition to the show,” said “Strange New Worlds” executive producer Alex Kurtzman and showrunners and executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers. “Like all of us, he is a life-long ‘Star Trek’ fan and we are excited by his interpretation of this iconic role.”
After the news broke, Wesley tweeted that he was “deeply humbled and still a little startled” about the opportunity to play James Kirk. He added that, apparently by chance, he recently sat next to Shatner on a flight to Los Angeles after Shatner’s recent trip into low Earth orbit on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space shuttle. “I could barely put two words together but ultimately I managed to say hello and we chatted,” Wesley wrote. “I’m not one who usually believes in fate but this was more than a coincidence. … So thanks Mr. Shatner for the good company. And for seating us together, my thanks to the great bird in the sky. Can’t wait for all of you to see our Captain Kirk on your screens.”
Wesley is best known for playing Stefan Salvatore in The CW drama series “The Vampire Diaries,” on which he starred for eight seasons and just over 170 episodes. His other TV credits include “Tell Me a Story,” “24,” “Army Wives,” “Everwood.” He will next be seen in the feature “History of Evil” and has also starred in films like “Roll Bounce,” “Peaceful Warrior,” and “Before I Disappear,” the last of which he also produced.
Strange New Worlds” stars Anson Mount as Capt. Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock, and Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley aboard the Enterprise prior to the events of the original “Star Trek” series.