Sir Patrick Stewart has said his excitement is growing ahead of reprising his role as Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard, despite initially turning down offers to bring back the character.
The actor, 78, will play the captain of the starship Enterprise in a new series telling the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life.
He originally played the character on TV in Star Trek: The Next Generation and in films from 1987 to 2002, and he previously said that he thought his final appearance as Picard, in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis, was his last.
Sir Patrick told ITV’s This Morning: “I never believed this would or could happen, because there have been numerous ideas and offers to bring the character or the series back in some way, and I’ve always had to say no, that is the past, I’m proud of what we did but it’s not going to be revived, certainly not in the shape of Patrick Stewart.
“And then I met with the producers and they are wonderful, clever people and they told me about the idea they had for this, and it’s quite different from Next Generation – it’s 20 years on, which is exactly how much time has passed since we wrapped the series in Los Angeles.
“And with every day that goes by as the production draws nearer, I get more and more excited.”
Sir Patrick and CBS All Access confirmed the new series in August last year.
“It’s going to be a different world from the world that we were in on the Enterprise, and I say ‘we’ guardedly, because I don’t really yet know who the ‘we’ will be,” Sir Patrick added.
“We’re trying to keep it undercover as much as possible because that, we hope, will entice people to tune in and watch, and then get taken up in the new world that the Next Generation is now inhabiting.”
Sir Patrick next appears in new fantasy adventure film The Kid Who Would Be King alongside Louis Ashbourne Serkis, the son of actor Andy Serkis.
The film, an Arthurian tale of teenagers learning the qualities of leadership, will be released nationwide on Friday February 15.