Patrick Stewart, star of long-running series Star Trek: The Next Generation, is set to reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard, according to Entertainment Weekly. The show will air on CBS All Access.
Stewart made the announcement himself an appearance at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.
“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.”
Alex Kurtzman, show-runner for Star Trek: Discovery, will be an executive producer on the series along with writer Michael Chabon, Rod Roddenberry and Stewart, according to Variety. James Duff, a Star Trek: Discovery executive producer, Akiva Goldsman, a former Discovery executive producer, and Kirsten Beyer, a Discovery writer, will also executive produce the new series.
“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold,” Kurtzman said, according to Variety.
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 series is planned to take place 20 years after the movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, according to Gizmodo.
As the panel discussion continued, Stewart also said, “it may not be the Jean-Luc you know and love.”
Stewart starred in Star Trek: The Next Generation for its seven-season run. During its original run, the show earned 18 Emmy nominations. Stewart also starred in four Star Trek movies and appeared in the pilot for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Stewart explained during the panel discussion that he feels this is a particularly good time to bring back the character, noting the comfort the character has brought to the many fans of the show.
“I feel I’m ready to return to him…to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly.
CBS is developing several other shows set in the Star Trek universe, including a show set at Starfleet Academy, a limited series based on the “Wrath of Khan” story-line, an animated series, and a four-part miniseries called “Star Trek: Short Treks.”
This announcement follows rumors of a new series that started in June after Kurtzman was named show-runner on Discovery, according to Gizmodo. No details have been released about the name of the show or its premiere date, but Star Trek: Discovery is set to return in early 2019.