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Star Trek: Chris Hemsworth will return for fourth film

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The fourth Star Trek film is boldly going back in time. Paramount announced Monday that a sequel to Star Trek Beyond, which is out in theaters Friday, will star Chris Hemsworth. The Thor actor appeared in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek as George Kirk, but was killed in the film’s opening minutes.

According to Paramount, the next Star Trek film will allow Captain James T. Kirk (played in the franchise by Chris Pine) to “cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father.”

Pine and his costars — which includes Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and John Cho — are expected to return for Star Trek 4, the studio said in its statement. No word yet on who would replace Anton Yelchin in the cast. The actor, who played Chekov in the first three Trek films, was killed in June in an accident outside his home.

The Trek script will be written by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce via Bad Robot, while David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance are executive producers.

No director was announced for the project; Justin Lin was behind the camera for Star Trek Beyond.

The announcement comes on the heels of Abrams teasing such a reveal during a press conference for Star Trek Beyond last week. “There’s something that hopefully we’re figuratively minutes away from talking about,” he said of Hemsworth’s possible return. “The answer is 100 percent yes, and it’s incredibly exciting.”

Star Trek Beyond is out in theaters on Friday.

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