Sir Patrick Stewart will reprise his iconic role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a new Star Trek TV show for CBS All Access. The move is part of Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman's deal to expand the Star Trek franchise for CBS.
Discovery has been one of the big tentpole shows for CBS All Access, the network's streaming service, which launched in 2014. The new Star Trek series premiered on CBS before making the move to All Access exclusively, to encourage fans to sign up for the service. The show is set to return in early 2019, but CBS isn't wasting time expanding its lineup of Star Trek shows.
According to THR, Kurtzman will be joined on this new Star Trek venture by producers James Duff, Michael Chabon Akiva Goldsman, and Kirsten Beyer. Duff created the TV shows The Closer and Major Crimes, and was recently reported to be joining Star Trek: Discovery following a behind-the-scenes shakeup, while Goldsman and Beyer both worked on the first season of Discovery. Chabon wrote the screenplay for John Carter and has directed a short film for CBS' upcoming series Short Treks. Stewart confirmed the recent rumors of a Star Trek return himself in a surprise appearance at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention, and on social media with the following statement:
It is 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. Read my full statement in the photo. #StarTrek @cbsallaccess Photo: @shervinfoto pic.twitter.com/8Ynuj3RBNm— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) August 4, 2018
The show will not be a reboot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran for seven seasons and 178, but will instead be "an exploration of the next chapter of Picard's life." Stewart's last screen appearance as Picard was in the 2002 film, Star Trek: Nemesis, though he's appeared in several video games since then and reprised the role for comedy shows like Robot Chicken and Family Guy. We first heard rumors of Stewart potentially playing Picard in a new Star Trek show in mid-June 2018, when the news broke of Kurtzman penning a new deal for a five-year extension to continue working on the franchise. Kurtzman had this to say about the new series:
"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 honor generations both new and old."
Stewart recently returned to one of his other most famous screen roles, Professor Charles Xavier, in James Mangold's critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated Logan. He also voiced the Poop Emoji in The Emoji Movie. Fans are sure to be ecstatic to see the return of (depending on where you land in the Picard vs. Kirk debate) either the best or second-best Star Trek Captain, and it will certainly be interesting to catch up with Picard's story all these years later.