Star Trek Guide

Star Trek's Patrick Stewart originally didn't want to return to franchise for Picard series

Patrick Stewart may be returning to the Star Trek fold once again as Jean-Luc Picard, but the star has admitted that he was initially ready to "pass" on the project.

The actor has opened-up about reprising his classic role in Picard, and explained that he had already determined his time with the franchise was "over".

"To be honest, I didn't want to [come back]," he told Vulture. "I had determined long ago that my time with Jean-Luc and Star Trek was over. I had given everything I could to the character in the series.

"But when this also came through about two years ago, I agreed with my agent that we would go and attend the meeting with [producers] Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman, and because their inquiry of me had been so polite and enthusiastic, I wanted to explain to them face-to-face why I was going to pass. I did."

He continued: "They listened to me talk for half an hour or so. They said fine, they understood all that, but they had a few more things they wanted to say and they talked in a little more detail about their vision for Picard.

"There was a lot of information; when the meeting broke up and we left, I said to my agent, 'You know, would you mind asking these people if they could put everything they said in writing so that I can read it, study it, think about it?'"

Stewart went on to reveal that he "very carefully" studied their proposal, and said in the meeting he would be interested if Picard was in the ilk of Wolverine swansong Logan.

"They came back with quite a lot to say about that, and they were very enthusiastic about creating a world that was very different from the one that we got used to," the actor went on.

"I met with them again and we talked and talked and I told them about my uncertainties and doubts and little by little I found that they were all being addressed and being addressed in such an interesting way that I was intrigued. This was not going to be Star Trek: The Next Generation, Part Two. That's why I said yes."

Kurtzman previously revealed that Stewart didn't want to return to Star Trek unless they were "breaking new ground".

"When we're in a room with him, his opinion really matters to us, and his happiness really matters to us, and ultimately, we couldn't do this show the way we're doing it if he wasn't excited about it and excited to play it," he added.

Star Trek: Picard has a premiere date of January 23, 2020. It will air on CBS All Access in the US and Amazon Prime internationally, including the UK.

Digital Spy now has a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @digitalspy Instagram and Twitter accounts.