Later this year, Patrick Stewart will once again reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard in a still-unnamed Star Trek series. However, Stewart’s triumphant return to the Star Trek universe almost didn’t happen. In a recent interview with Yahoo, Stewart discussed why he was apprehensive about the series at first and what eventually changed his mind.
Stewart explained that he had been approached about reprising his role several times after 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. He always declined. But something about the producers’ idea for a new take on the character made him reconsider.
“I agreed to a meeting with the people who were going to produce this new version of Star Trek,” said Stewart. “Only because I wanted to seriously and respectfully explain to the why I was turning the project down. But in that first meeting, which maybe lasted an hour and a half or so, I heard just enough to realize that this was something very unusual, and I was intrigued. And I said, ‘Listen, would you ask them to put something on paper’–the different story ideas were coming up–’so that I could really have time to look about and study what they want to do?’”
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After receiving about 16 pages, Stewart remained “extremely interested.” But he still had his doubts. “What I was afraid of was, in some way, this is going to be jokey and I don’t want to do that. I respect the work we did on Next Generation. And also, it changed my life in every way.”
Thankfully, these doubts were soon quashed. “I’d asked a lot of questions and the answers were all very satisfying. I was struck by how clever these people were [who] I was talking to, who could tell a narrative very well, and seemed to be tuned in to what an actor might need to hear. So I signed on.”
Stewart understandably kept quiet about story details, but he did give some new info about Picard’s look this time around. Apparently, Picard won’t resemble his future self from the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Stewart also added that the new series may comment on current world events.
“It references the present day at times, and that’s all I can say, really,” teased Stewart. “The world that we find Jean-Luc Picard in is not quite the world that we left him in.”
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