Well, here's some big news no one saw coming. Today Sir Patrick Stewart announced that he is returning to the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a brand-new Star Trek series on CBS All Access. Stewart made an announcement on his Twitter account with a statement, and Variety has confirmed the story. There aren't any details about the plot, but it is not a prequel or a reboot — it's "the next chapter of Picard's life".
"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."
The series will be brought to life by 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.
"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."
It was recently announced that there are multiple Star Trek TV shows in development with CBS, and this appears to be one of them. This show is not replacing Star Trek: Discovery, the second season of which is set to premiere in early 2019.
There is currently no release date for this Picard series.