Patrick Stewart is coming back to the world of Star Trek as his character Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, he announced during a surprise appearance at Star Trek Las Vegas convention during the weekend. It will tell “the story of the next chapter in Picard’s life”, with Star Trek: Discovery showrunner and chief of Trek TV Alex Kurtzman as executive producer.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Stewart said “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”. “During these past years, it has been humbling to hear 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,” he added.
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“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold,” said Kurtzman. “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 honour generations both new and old.”
Stewart’s return to his iconic role had been rumoured in June, as one of many Star Trek shows in development under Kurtzman’s new extended tenure at CBS Television Studios. The 78-year-old actor, also known for his portrayal of Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise, starred as Picard in both television and film: The Next Generation ran from 1987-1994, and he reprised the role in 1994’s Star Trek Generations, 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact, 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection, and 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.