It's been rumored for months that Patrick Stewart is returning to the Star Trek universe, and it has just been officially confirmed. Stewart will be back in his Next Generation role as Jean-Luc Picard for a new CBS All Access series that is currently in development. It's been more than two decades since Patrick Stewart played the role and fans are going to undoubtedly be pretty excited for his return. While details are scarce, the new show will not be a reboot of Next Generation.
The new CBS All Access Star Trek series is shrouded in mystery at the moment. In addition to Patrick Stewart reprising is role as Jean-Luc Picard, the creative team for the newest Star Trek series includes Alex Kurtzman, who currently serves as showrunner on CBS All Access' Star Trek Discovery. Kurtzman recently inked an overall deal with CBS to expand the beloved franchise. Other than that, there is not title, release date, or episode count to report. Hopefully Stewart's Picard will "make it so" soon.
Alex Kurtzman will lead the creative team for the new Star Trek series which also includes James Duff, Akiva Goldsman (Discovery), Michael Chabon, and Kirsten Beyer (Discovery). Kurtzman released an official statement to welcome Patrick Stewart back to his Jean-Luc Picard role from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The showrunner notes that he can't wait to surprise fans and honor the new generations as well as the generations before. He had this to say when welcoming Stewart back.
"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."
Patrick Stewart also confirmed his return at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas today. In addition to starring in the new show, Stewart will also serve as executive producer. The actor also commented on thinking that the Jean-Luc Picard story had already been told and how his mind changed about coming back to the franchise after all of these years. In the end, Stewart is here to make people happy and find comfort in dark times. He explains.
"I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, 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. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over. During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I'm ready to return to him for the same reason - to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might 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."
The return of Patrick Stewart to the Star Trek franchise is a pretty big shock. Even though rumors had been floating around for months, even the most hardcore fans were skeptical of a return to Jean-Luc Picard. However, it's now official, which means that it's time to get really excited. This is a developing story and more news about the series is expected to drop soon. You can read more about Patrick Stewart's return to Star Trek at The Hollywood Reporter.