Patrick Stewart would return as Jean-Luc Picard for Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie. Stewart last played Picard in the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis. He first played the character on the series Star Trek: The Next Generation, which debuted in 1987, running for seven seasons.
After pitching his Star Trek idea to Paramount and J.J. Abrams, Tarantino is now reportedly moving forward with the project. A writer’s room came together and Mark L. Smith is said to be the early favorite to emerge from that endeavor and take on scripting duties. Tarantino reportedly has convinced Paramount to let him boldly go where no Trek movie has gone before: into R-rated territory.
THR reports that Captain Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, is keen to return to the Starship Enterprise for Quentin Tarantino. Speaking from the Dubai Film Festival where he received an honorary award, the venerable Stewart said:
“But one of my dreams is to work with Tarantino. I admire his work so much and to be in a Tarantino film would give me so much satisfaction. So, if he is going to direct something to do with Star Trek and there was the possibility of dear old Jean-Luc showing up again and doing that for Mr Tarantino, I would embrace it.”
Stewart in the past has waffled on his desire to return to Star Trek. Sometimes the actor says he’s too old to go back there again. But now-and-then he throws out a scenario where he could see himself revisiting the character of Picard. In a recent interview, Stewart expressed interest in appearing in an epic Star Trek crossover that brought all the surviving Trek cast members together.
Age was not an issue for Stewart when he signed on to once again play Charles Xavier in Logan. That film in fact made a virtue of Stewart’s age, working it into the narrative, giving Stewart a chance to shine as an elderly version of the character. Quentin Tarantino could perhaps do something similar with old Jean-Luc Picard. The director has said he would like to adapt a Trek TV episode, singling out the Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” as a favorite. “Yesterday’s Enterprise” happens to be a classic Trek time-travel episode. So could Tarantino dream up a time-bending plot that somehow involves an aged Picard?
Bringing back older versions of characters is nothing new for Star Trek, and the results are not always positive. The trick worked in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot when Leonard Nimoy was cast as an aging Mr. Spock. It did not work in Star Trek: Generations when William Shatner was enlisted to play Captain Kirk one last time. The key to making that sort of thing work is finding a good, solid story reason for the character to appear. Just throwing Jean-Luc Picard back into Star Trek for nostalgia reasons would be pointless. Neither Quentin Tarantino nor Patrick Stewart would be down for a shameless Picard cameo. So if Picard does appear, you can bet it will be because Tarantino wants to do something legit with the character.
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