Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Casts The Vampire Diaries Star Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk

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There's a lot of excitement right now for the upcoming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as it will mark the return of Anson Mount's Christopher Pike after his fan-favorite turn in the second season of Discovery. Given that the series is set years before the events of The Original Series, we'll also get to see the younger version of some of our favorite characters in the original USS Enterprise crew. Now, it looks like the series will also feature the appearance of the most iconic character in the franchise: James T. Kirk.

Paramount+ has announced that The Vampire Diaries star Paul Wesley has been cast to play the iconic James T. Kirk in the second season of Star Trek: Trek: Strange New Worlds. He is following the footsteps of William Shatner, who originated the role in The Original Series and played him until his final turn in the role on Star Trek: Generations. You can check the first look photo of Wesley as Kirk below:

Shortly after the announcement, Wesley took to Twitter to share his excitement about playing the iconic character and revealed that he recently sat beside Shatner during a flight. You can check his tweet below:

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Hours later, Shatner tweeted a congratulatory message to Wesley and gave a seal approval to the casting:

Prior to this casting, Wesley is known for his role as Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries and his starring roles in the anthology series Tell Me a Story. He also directed episodes of TV shows such as Shadowhunters, Legacies, Roswell, New Mexico, and Batwoman.

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Playing James T. Kirk is definitely a big step for Wesley as he is following the legendary performance of Shatner in the role. Given that he gave a seal of approval to the casting, it should assure us at the very least that Wesley will do a great job on playing the iconic character. It's also interesting to see what direction will the series take on the character and how they will explore the years when he hasn't taken over the captain seat yet. It would also be cool to see him interact with Ethan Peck's Spock which should be exciting.

The series will follow Captain Christopher Pike (Mount) and his crew in the years before Kirk rises to the Enterprise’s captain’s chair. Production is already underway for the second season, ahead of the series premiere, where Wesley is expected to make his debut.

Also Read: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Teaser Trailer Brings Back Captain Pike to the Final Frontier

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is set to premiere on May 5 on Paramount+.