CBS All Access announced that a former Star Trek: Discovery director will helm the pilot episode for the upcoming Picard TV series starring Patrick Stewart. Stewart announced that he would return to his iconic role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the as-yet-untitled Star Trek series. Originally hitting in the airwaves in 1986, Star Trek: The Next Generation took place around a century after the original William Shatner series and followed a whole new Starfleet crew, led by Stewart's Picard. The new series will follow his character into the next chapter of his life following a total of seven seasons spent on the show. In 1993, Stewart later returned to the role for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and a year later for the first of four Star Trek: The Next Generation feature films, Star Trek: Generations.
The new series will air exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States with international distribution by CBS Studios International, similar to the current run of Star Trek: Discovery. Among the Picard show's executive producers are Discovery's Alex Kurtzman, author Michael Chabon, and Stewart himself. The Picard TV series is part of an expansion for Star Trek-based programming that now includes an animated series on CBS All Access and possibly Nickelodeon, additional episodes of Short Treks, a possible Star Trek: Discovery spinoff led by Michelle Yeoh, and a Starfleet Academy series from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
News broke from The Wrap that Hanelle Culpepper will helm the first two episodes of the upcoming Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek TV show for CBS All Access. This makes Culpepper the first woman to direct a pilot or debut episode of a Star Trek series in the franchise’s 53-year history. Showrunner Alex Kurtzman said of Culpepper:
“Hanelle is a gifted and dynamic filmmaker whose directorial choices are always deeply rooted in character. I’ve been a huge fan of her work since she started with us on Discovery, and she’s the perfect person to re-introduce the beloved character of Picard to longtime fans and new viewers alike. We’re thrilled she’s joining our Trek family on this next adventure.”
Culpepper is already a seasoned veteran of Starfleet, having directed two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. She helmed the episode titled “Vaulting Ambition” in Season 1 as well as an upcoming episode in Season 2. In addition to numerous Star Trek ventures, she's also taken on network shows as well, directing everything from How To Get Away With Murder and Empire to Gotham and Supergirl. She'll also direct an episode of AMC's forthcoming horror series NOS4A2, starring a former Spock, Zachary Quinto.
Considering that this new Picard TV series could feature a very different sort of Jean-Luc, it's comforting to know that someone with as much craftsmanship as Culpepper will spearhead the series. We still don't know exactly what kind of Picard we'll be getting, considering it will take place 20-plus years since we last saw him in Star Trek: Nemesis, but it was also confirmed that Picard would no longer be an official Starfleet Captain, which makes things especially interesting.
Source: The Wrap