Paul Wesley to Play Captain Kirk on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds — Photo

Star Trek Strange New Worlds Kirk Paul Wesley

Paul Wesley is boldly going where only a few other men have gone before: The Vampire Diaries alum will play the iconic Captain James T. Kirk on Season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, TVLine has learned.

“Paul is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence and a welcome key addition to the show,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman and showrunners/EPs 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.”

Paramount+ has also released a first-look photo — which you can see above — of Wesley in the captain’s chair as Kirk, complete with familiar yellow uniform.

Wesley steps into the role originated by William Shatner, who played Kirk in the original Star Trek series. (Chris Pine has also played Kirk in a number of recent Trek movies.)

Strange New Worlds — which debuts Thursday, May 5 on Paramount+ and takes place years before the original Trek — stars Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, who captained the U.S.S. Enterprise before Kirk took over. Rebecca Romijn costars as Number One, with Ethan Peck playing Science Officer Spock. All three first played those roles, which date back to the original Trek series, in Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery.

Wesley is best known as vampire Stefan Salvatore on the CW drama The Vampire Diaries, which wrapped up an eight-season run in 2017. His other TV roles include Tell Me a Story, 24 and Army Wives. He’s also set to star in Lifetime’s upcoming prequel Flowers in the Attic: The Origin.

Alright, Trekkies: Does he look the part? Beam down to the comments to give us your thoughts on the big casting news.