The former Stefan Salvatore will join the Trek series in its second season.
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Paul Wesley is boldly going where two actors have gone before.

The former Vampire Diaries star will play James T. Kirk on the second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the newest addition to the Trek TV universe. The news comes ahead of the series' scheduled May 5 debut on Paramount+; production on season 2 is currently underway in Toronto. (You can get a first look at Wesley as Kirk in the photo below.)

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

Paul Wesley Star Trek
Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk on 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds'
| Credit: Marni Grossman Photography

The character of Kirk, of course, was first played by William Shatner on Star Trek: The Original Series, and later taken up by Chris Pine in J.J. Abrams' rebooted films. Pine will (supposedly) reprise the role in a new Trek movie, with WandaVision's Matt Shakman directing and Abrams producing.

Strange New Worlds, meanwhile, will go back in time to follow Captain Christopher Pike at the helm of the USS Enterprise. Several actors are set to reprise their roles from Star Trek: Discovery's second season, which was set around the same time, including Anson Mount as Captain Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One, and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. The series will focus on the trio in the years before Kirk boarded the Enterprise (well, apparently not that many years before) as they explore, you guessed it, strange new worlds around the galaxy.

As for the rest of the Star Trek content-verse, Discovery is set to wrap up its fourth season this Thursday, while Picard — which features Patrick Stewart returning as the Next Generation captain — recently began its second season on Paramount+.

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