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'Star Trek': Picard Series Casts Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd

Star Trek’s new Picard series has made its first casting announcements.

Santiago Cabrera (Big Little Lies, Salvation) and Michelle Hurd (Blindspot) are joining Patrick Stewart in the new CBS All Access series. Both are series regulars, but details about their characters are being kept under wraps.

The first two episodes of the Picard series will be directed by Hanelle, Culpepper, making her the first woman to helm the launch of a new Star Trek series in the franchise’s 53-year history. She confirmed on Friday that casting for the Picard series had already begun.

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(Photo: Getty / Mike Coppola, Jason LaVeris)

Culpepper made her Star Trek debut directing the episode “Vaulting Ambition” in Star Trek: Discovery’s first season. She also directed the upcoming 10th episode of Discovery’s second season.

“Hanelle is a gifted and dynamic filmmaker whose directorial choices are always deeply rooted in character,” Alex Kurtzman, Discovery’s co-creator, executive producer and showrunner said when Culpepper's involvement with Picard was announced. “I’ve been a fan of her work since she started with us on Discovery, and she’s the perfect person to re-introduce the beloved character of Picard to longtime fans and new viewers alike. We’re thrilled she’s joining our Trek family on this next adventure.”

Culpepper is working with producers and a writers’ room that share her love of Picard. Kurtzman told ComicBook.com at the TCA 2019 Winter Press Tour about that and about how the new show differs from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

“Everybody in that room loves Jean-Luc Picard very deeply, and obviously, the benefit that we have is that Jean-Luc Picard is in the room with us,” Kurtzman said. “And so, as we're breaking story, we're asking ourselves, ‘How do we live to the spirit, and to the character, and for the tone that Next Gen set, but also make it something very, very different in other ways?’ And Patrick was really clear with us from the beginning. He did not want to repeat what he had already done. And by the way, it's been 20 plus years, so he couldn't possibly be that same person anymore.

“And so, the question becomes, ‘What has happened to him in that period of time? Have there been occurrences that forced him to reckon with choices that he's made in his life? How do you hold on to being the person everybody loved when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically?’ And those are the big questions that we're asking.”

According to Stewart, the show will have a different storytelling style than The Next Generation.

“We’re hoping for more than one season,” Stewart said. “And with this first series, and this is one of the things that’s so interesting about the writers’ room, they are writing a 10-hour movie. In The Next Generation, it was a story, a different story, a different story, all with the same characters as many series are. But this time it is one story, from beginning to end. I hope that will lead people to...binge-watching, that it might lead to something like that because the idea of it being an unfolding narrative is really terrific.”

Are you excited to see the new Picard series? Let us know in the comments.

The Picard series begins filming in California in April and will premiere in late 2019 on CBS All Access.

(h/t THR)

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