Why Patrick Stewart Says He 'Would Have Been A Fool' To Turn Down Star Trek: Picard

cbs all access picard patrick stewart
(Image credit: CBS All Access)

Patrick Stewart reprised his role as Jean-Luc Picard for his own CBS All Access series in a development that once seemed all but inconceivable. He had last played Picard in Star Trek: Nemesis back in 2002, and CBS All Access seemed to be boldly going in new directions with largely new characters. With Star Trek: Picard, Stewart opened up a new chapter in one of the franchise's most iconic characters, and according to Stewart himself, he would have "been a fool" to pass up on the chance for his own show.

Speaking with Gold Derby, Patrick Stewart explained what convinced him to return to Jean-Luc Picard after so many years:

I mean, I would have been a fool to have said, 'No, I don’t think so,' because what they were proposing was so close to the only kind of 'Star Trek' series that I would possibly be interested in. That’s what they were talking about. Rather in the way that Logan closed 'X-Men' for Hugh Jackman and myself, by doing a totally different kind of story with a different situation and setup and everything changed from how has it been for 12 years of 'X-Men.' This is what they were doing with Jean-Luc Picard. And when I met with them a second time, I was won over. Sorry, that was a rather long answer but that’s literally what happened. I was so excited by what they told me they wanted to do with Picard that I would have been a fool, I think, not to sign up.

According to Patrick Stewart, all it took was two meetings for the team pitching Star Trek: Picard to win him over. At that time, the team was comprised of Alex Kurtzman (who produced Star Trek 2009, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek: Short Treks), Akiva Goldsman (also a producer on Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Short Treks), and Kirsten Beyer (writer for Star Trek: Discovery, writer for Short Treks, and prolific Star Trek: Voyager novelist), with Michael Chabon joining shortly thereafter. Stewart was evidently so excited that he would have been a fool not to sign on for the latest Trek spinoff.

Patrick Stewart also confirmed that he had been turning down Star Trek spinoffs "moments from the day after we finished filming" Star Trek: Nemesis, because he felt that "there was no more to tell" about Jean-Luc Picard. Once he heard the pitch and learned that he would be playing a very different version of his character, at a point in his life that hadn't been visited, he was on board and Star Trek fans got a new series starring Picard, along with many other familiar Trek faces who hadn't been seen in the franchise for years.

Star Trek: Picard will return for a second season, with Patrick Stewart reprising his role yet again despite a Season 1 finale twist that might have taken him out of the game. The bad news is that Picard Season 2, like many other projects throughout the entertainment industry, is facing delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stewart has already said that he's not interested in the show incorporating a pandemic into Season 2, and the show obviously takes Stewart's opinions into consideration, given some comments from an executive producer!

A delayed second season of Star Trek: Picard doesn't mean there is a shortage of available Jean-Luc Picard content. CBS All Access is the home of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as the movies that featured Patrick Stewart, on top of the first season of Picard and every season of Star Trek: Discovery so far! If you need a fix of Star Trek during the wait for more Picard, CBS All Access is the place to be. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).