Star Trek: Picard: Is Jonathan Frakes Teasing a Return as Riker?

Jonathan Frakes will reteam with Patrick Stewart to direct two episodes of the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard. But could he return in front of the camera in the series to reprise his role as Will Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation?

Frakes’s tweeted a photo of a trombone. The tweet reads “My next project…” This immediately got Star Trek fans buzzing. Frakes’ Cmdr. Riker played the trombone on several occasions throughout the seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That Frakes’s Star Trek: The Next Generation co-star Brent Spiner replied to the tweet with an “Oh yeah!” only has fans more curious.

What do you think? Take a look a the tweet below:

Fans should try not to get too excited just yet. Frakes’s relationship with the trombone pre-dates his time playing Riker. In fact, Riker got to play the trombone because Frakes happened to know the instrument from back in his marching band days. Riker also played the slide trombone, while the instrument pictured in the tweet is a valve trombone.

Frakes has mostly retired from acting, choosing to focus on directing instead. He started down that road by directing episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and has said he’s happy to be back in Star Trek’s orbit again.

"Eighteen years later. I think the fans are going to be thrilled and excited and surprised,” Frakes said. “I have had the privilege of reading the first couple of episodes and I have spent some time with Patrick who is so engaged [laughs] Sorry. It’s wonderful. It’s smart. I’m excited about it. He is obviously more excited. His announcing of it at Las Vegas — which I believe was his idea —was very smart. You know he is 78, and he is going to be carrying the show on his shoulders, his considerable shoulders.

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“I’m excited for him and personally, I feel so blessed to back,” he continued. “It’s so ironic that I spent so many years trying to expand where I was working and I was lucky enough to get onto other types of shows. The directing has been a mitzvah for me—to learn another craft. And now I am deeply ensconced in the world I was in 31 years ago—and I’ve got to say—incredibly grateful for it, between The Orville, and Discovery and Picard. And hopefully the Empress Georgiou show.”

Do you think Frakes will return as Riker in Star Trek: Picard? Let us know in the comments.