Patrick Stewart may be closer to reprising his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation than initially thought.
Rumors broke last week that Stewart is in early discussions to reprise his role as the lead of a new Star Trek series. Those initial reports suggested that Stewart and CBS were still only having very early conversations and that the deal may not come together at all.
However, a report from the Mirror suggests that deal is actually much closer to being finalized than initially reported. Stewart and CBS reportedly already have a verbal agreement in place, implying that all that is left is to work out the details of the contract and to sign. That's no small thing - contracts are complicated and take time and deals fall apart in the negotiations stage all of the time - but it implies that CBS is beyond having to convince Stewart to come back and that he is actually already willing to do so.
The Mirror's source reportedly stated that “Patrick is looking pretty good to get back on board the Enterprise. There are some aspects of the deal to be finalized, but there is a verbal commitment from all parties. An announcement will be made in the next few weeks and the show should be out next year.”
The initial report of Stewart's return followed closely after CBS announced a deal with Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman and his production banner Secret Hideout to expand the Star Trek television franchise.
The initial report on Stewart's return also referred to the project as a “reboot,” leaving it unclear as to whether this project could be a reboot or revival of Star Trek: The Next Generation or something a little different in concept. The Mirror's source specifically refers to Stewart returning to Enterprise, which seems to back up the Next Generation reboot theory, but it's possible that this was more of an off-handed remark than a comment based on insider knowledge.
CBS has so far declined to comment and on Stewart's possible return, but Stewart did recently hint that he may need to catch up on his Star Trek.
Stewart played Picard for seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as in four Star Trek movies. Star Trek: Nemesis, released in 2002, was his last performance as Captain Picard.