Paul Wesley will play Captain Kirk in new Star Trek TV series

The Vampire Diaries alum has been added to the cast of an upcoming Star Trek series

A photo of Paul Wesley as Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2

Paul Wesley is joining the Star Trek franchise as Captain Kirk.

Paramount+ announced on Tuesday that Wesley will play James T. Kirk in season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which has yet to make its series premiere on the streamer in May.

“Paul is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence and a welcome key addition to the show,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman and showrunners/executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers said in a joint statement. “Like all of us, he is a life-long Star Trek fan and we are excited by his interpretation of this iconic role.”

Shortly after the announcement, Wesley took to Twitter to reveal that he’s “deeply humbled and still a little startled to have been given the honor of playing the inimitable James T. Kirk.”

Wesley also shared that he had recently bumped to William Shatner, the actor who originated the role of Captain Kirk in the 1960s series Star Trek: The Original Series. And this chance encounter made Wesley believe that his casting as Captain Kirk is somehow fated. Read Wesley’s tweets below:

Who is Captain Kirk?

Captain Kirk was the commanding officer of the starship USS Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series. And since Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is set a decade before Star Trek: The Original Series, Wesley’s version of the character will be younger than that of Shatner’s.

Wesley is the third actor to play Captain Kirk in live-action. After Shatner, Chris Pine portrayed an alternative young version of the character in the 2009 Star Trek film. Pine then reprised the role in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness and 2016’s Star Trek Beyond.

Who is Paul Wesley?

Wesley is best known for his role as Stefan Salvatore on The CW’s supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries, in which he starred in eight seasons. He was also featured in Paramount+’s anthology series Tell Me a Story and will be next seen in the upcoming horror film History of Evil.

Aside from being an actor, Wesley is also a producer and director. He has directed episodes of The Vampire Diaries, Roswell, New Mexico, and Legacies.

What will Star Trek: Strange New Worlds be about?

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds follows Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and the crew of USS Enterprise in the years before Kirk rises to the starship’s captain’s chair. In addition to Mount, season 1 of the upcoming series also stars Rebecca Romijn as Number One, Ethan Peck as Spock, Babs Olusanmokun as M’Benga, Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura, Jess Bush as Christine Chapel, Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas, and Bruce Horak as Hemmer.

Season 2 of the series has recently started production, with season 1 scheduled to debut exclusively on Paramount+ in the United States, Latin America, Australia, and the Nordics on May 5th.

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