Paul Wesley will join Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as James T. Kirk in season two of the Star Trek: Discovery spin-off. The iconic character was previously played by William Shatner and Chris Pine.
Wesley’s acting credits include The Vampire Diaries and Tell Me A Story alongside directing episodes of Legacies, Shadowhunters, and Batwoman. He also co-owns a whiskey company, Brother’s Bond Bourbon, with former co-star Ian Somerhalder.
The actor reacted to the news via Instagram:
"I am deeply humbled and still a little startled to have been given the honor of playing the inimitable James T Kirk. Ever since I was a kid, I have been awed by the imaginative world Gene Roddenberry created.Recently, I boarded a flight to LA to discover that the man in the empty seat beside me was the one and only William Shatner, having himself just returned from space. I could barely put two words together but ultimately I managed to say hello and we chatted.I’m not one who usually believes in fate but this was more than a coincidence."
The casting announcement comes off the back of an early renewal for Strange New Worlds, with season one – consisting of 10 episodes – premiering on May 5 on Paramount+. A new trailer unveils the characters and reveals various easter eggs to other series in the franchise.
Set a decade before Star Trek: The Original Series, the story will follow the U.S.S. Enterprise scouring for new worlds led by Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Kirk’s predecessor. Mount reprises the role from Star Trek: Discovery alongside Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck, who play Number One and Spock, respectively.
Strange New Worlds is created by Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet and is a co-production between Secret Hideout, Roddenberry Entertainment, and CBS Studios. Production of season 2 is already underway as of February 2022.