CBS announces that Patrick Stewart is returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard in a new Star Trek series that will air on their CBS All Access digital streaming service.
Patrick Stewart first assumed the role of the Captain Jean-Luc Picard in 1987 with the launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which continued the voyages of the Starship Enterprise for 178 episodes and four movies.
The new Star Trek series will not be a reboot, but is described as "an exploration of the next chapter of Picard's life."
The official title, plot and casting details are being kept under wraps, but it is known that the new Star Trek series is being developed by Alex Kurtzman, who is also behind the popular Star Trek Discovery series for the CBS All Access digital streaming service.
"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," said Kurtzman in a statement.
Patrick Stewart confirmed his return to the franchise earlier today surprising the fans at the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.
"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 offered. "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."
Patrick Stewart is also on board the new series as executive producer.