'Dark Phoenix' Director Pitches James McAvoy as Young Picard in Star Trek

Star Trek fans are excited after hearing that Patrick Stewart is returning his iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation role as Jean-Luc Picard in a new series on CBS All Access, but perhaps no one is as excited as X-Men film start James McAvoy.

Collider recently spoke to Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg about the upcoming X-Men movie and the conversation went a little off topic to discuss the return of Stewart, who was formerly Professor X in the X-Men film franchise, to the Star Trek universe. Kinberg shared his thoughts.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “A good friend of mine and actually a mentor of mine, Akiva Goldsman, is involved with that show and he was talking about it before they got Patrick to say yes and I said ‘If you get that, that’s about as big an event as you can have in the Star Trek universe.’”

However, Kinberg said his own excitement pales compared to that of Dark Phoenix star James McAvoy.

“The person who was geeking out the most about it I would say actually though is McAvoy. I’m going to actually put a pitch in for McAvoy right now, I’ll tell Akiva this too, but if they ever need a flashback scene of young Picard, James really want to play young Picard. He wants to make a career of playing young Patrick Stewart.”

McAvoy himself made his feelings known previously with a comment on Stewart's Instagram page.

“Need a flashback guy????” McAvoy wrote. “Just saying @sirpatstew I’ve got previous experience and will work for autographs.”

We thought McAvoy might be kidding about working for autographs, but Kinberg seems to think McAvoy may be willing to work on the role for free.

McAvoy does have previous experience as a young Patrick Stewart. McAvoy was tapped to follow in Stewart’s footsteps as the young Professor X in the X-Men prequel movies beginning with X-Men: First Class. He and Stewart even shared a single scene in the sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The new Picard series was announced at Star Trek Las Vegas with a surprise appearance from Stewart and Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman. The new series is expected to take place 20 years after the last time Picard and the Enterprise crew were seen in action, during the events of the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis.

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The new Picard Star Trek series currently in development and is tentatively expected to premiere in 2019.