Patrick Stewart to reprise role as Star Trek's Jean-Luc Picard
Patrick Stewart is to reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard in a new series of Star Trek.
The character, who featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation and a handful of films, will return in the new CBS All Access series, which will reveal the next chapter of Picard’s life.
Announcing the news himself during a surprise appearance at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas , Stewart said: “I will always be very proud to have been a part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.
“During these past years, it has been humbling to hear stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I’m ready to return to what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavour to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”
Stewart played Picard in 178 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran for seven series between 1987 and 1994. The character, widely held alongside William Shatner’s Captain James T Kirk as one of the franchise’s two best, also appeared in four feature films: Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis.
Alex Kurtzman, showrunner on 2017’s well-received Star Trek: Discovery, will be an executive producer on the show. He said: “With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honour generations both new and old.”
CBS has yet to release any further information about the new series, including title or release date. Star Trek: Discovery, which stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp will return in January.
Since playing Picard for the final time, Stewart is best known for starring as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise.