Sir Patrick Stewart will reprise the role of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in a brand new “Star Trek” series on CBS All Access, Variety has learned.
The exact plot details are being kept mostly under wraps, though the series is said to tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life. That indicates that it will take place after the events of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” rather than being a prequel or reboot.
The untitled series hails from Alex Kurtzman, James Duff, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, and Kirsten Beyer. Kurtzman, Duff, Goldsman, and Chabon will also serve as executive producers on the series along with Stewart, Trevor Roth, Heather Kadin, and Rod Roddenberry. CBS Television Studios will produce. The new series does not currently have a premiere date.
“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,” Stewart said. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Stewart played Picard throughout “Next Generation’s” seven season run as well as in four “Star Trek” films. He is repped by ICM, Independent Talent Group, and Anonymous Content.
News of the series order comes less than two months after it was reported that CBS TV Studios was developing multiple shows set in the “Star Trek” universe. Other shows that were reported to be in development at that time include one set at Starfleet Academy from creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz as well as a limited series based around the “Wrath of Khan” story.
The studio also announced that they had signed Kurtzman to a new five-year overall deal that will see him supervise the expansion of CBS’ “Star Trek” franchise.
During San Diego Comic-Con, CBS TV Studios also announced that they had ordered a four-part miniseries called “Star Trek: Short Treks.” Launching this fall then rolling out on CBS All Access on a monthly basis, each of the four episodes will be approximately 10-15 minutes long, and dig deeper into specific characters and themes explored on “Discovery.”
“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the ‘Star Trek’ fold,” Kurtzman said. “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.”
Meanwhile, “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 2 is set to launch in early 2019. Like the first season, the new season has seen some significant shake ups behind the scenes. Kurtzman was named showrunner on “Discovery” Season 2 following the ouster of co-showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg back in June.