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Jennifer Lawrence inspired Star Trek Beyond heroine

Jennifer Lawrence inspired Star Trek Beyond co-writer Simon Pegg in his creation of one of the movie's heroines.

The Hunger Games actress' breakthrough role was as Ree, a teenager forced to fend for herself due to uncaring parents in the 2010 film Winter's Bone, a part which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

And when trying to create a feisty female character for the latest installment in the science-fiction franchise, Simon and his writing partner Doug Jung used Ree for inspiration.

In fact the similarities between Jennifer's Winter's Bone character and the Star Trek Beyond heroine, who has to struggle to survive on a strange planet after the death of her parents, were so great that they named her 'Jaylah', after J-Law.

"We were trying to create this very independent character," Simon explains to USA Today. "But we didn't have a name for it. So we just called it 'Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone.' That's a long name. So it started getting tiring always saying, 'Well, Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone is fighting here. So then we started calling her J. Law. And then she became Jaylah."

Jaylah, played by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella, has a major role in the new film, forging a friendship with the character Simon plays, Montgomery Scott, and uses the fighting skills she's developed looking after herself to help the Starship Enterprise crew fight Idris Elba's villain, Krall.

Speaking about her character at the U.K. premiere of the film earlier this week (end17Jul16), Sophia said, "She is (a) quite strong, opinionated survivor that's been on her own on this planet for ages, has had to put together armor and sticks so that she can fight all the other people living there, she's basically a strong survivor."

Despite the inclusion of a new character who hadn't appeared in any previous Star Trek TV series or films, Simon told WENN at the premiere that he was determined to stay true to the spirit of Star Trek.

He explained, "It's incredible and I try never to lose sight of that and Doug Jung and I were both aware of the property we were being given, the universe we were given access to and it is a very beloved thing and we wanted to do it justice, we wanted to write a Star Trek film, write something that was Star Trek in its DNA."

Star Trek Beyond is released on 22 July (16).

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