Patrick Stewart is going to reprise the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a new series of Star Trek set to air on CBS All Access, the network announced Saturday.
More than 20 years after Star Trek: The Next Generation ended, the new show will focus on the "next chapter" in the life of the beloved captain of the starship Enterprise.
Alex Kurtzman, the showrunner behind the Star Trek: Discovery series currently airing on CBS All Access, announced the news at a fan convention in Las Vegas on Saturday, bringing out Stewart to a thrilled audience.
"For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here," Kurtzman said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. "We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old."
On Twitter, Stewart said, "It is 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."
He also posted a longer statement, saying he hoped Picard could shine some light in "these often very dark times":
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. 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."