At this weekend’s Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, Sir Patrick Stewart took the show’s keynote stage with a surprise announcement: Jean-Luc Picard is back.
Stewart confirmed that he will return to his iconic role in an as-yet-unnamed series which, according to Deadline, will be a CBS All Access exclusive. The series’ details are currently quite unconfirmed, with Stewart admitting to the LVST crowd that “we have no scripts yet” and he is “talking storylines” with the series’ handlers. But Sir Patrick and the rest of the Star Trek team are adamant in saying that this series will not be a Next Generation reboot, and the LVST events did not include additional TNG actors confirming their involvement.
“He may not be a captain anymore,” Stewart said on Saturday. “He may be someone who has been changed by his experiences… It will be something very different, but it will come to you with the same passion.” An additional statement at Stewart’s Twitter profile pointed out his initial expectation that the role had “run its course” following the filming of 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis .
After acknowledging his character’s impact on fans in the years since he got out of the Enterprise ‘s chair and how his role brought people “comfort” and inspired them to “pursue science, exploration, and leadership,” he wrote on Twitter:
I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason—to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he may shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected, and pertinent story to life once more.
Deadline reports that Star Trek Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman will “oversee development” of the new Picard series, assisted by existing Discovery producers/writers James Duff, Akiva Goldsman, and Kirsten Beyer—along with author Michael Chabon, a Trek series newcomer who also wrote the script for one of four Short Trek mini-episodes coming to CBS All Access this fall.
This news follows Stewart’s apparent exit from the X-Men cinematic universe as Professor Charles Xavier, should the (spoiler alert) events of the 2017 film Logan serve as film-series canon.