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Stewart: My Time On Star Trek Is Over

Unlike his Next Generation co-stars, Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Jean Luc Picard) seems disinclined to talk about the future of franchise. In a new interview with SFX magazine the star of the last four Trek feature films says that he knows nothing about and has no feelings regarding the next one.

Excerpt from SFX (via TrekWeb):

SFX: What are your thoughts on J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Trek prequel, which is ditching The Next Generation entirely ?

Stewart: To be honest, I don’t know anything about it, so I’d hate to comment. I don’t really have any feelings about it either because my time on Star Trek is over – it was over years ago !

You’ve got to remember that Star Trek hasn’t been my life. Even when I was doing Star Trek I was doing lots of other things because I was lucky enough to have a career before Star Trek came along. I’ve been a successful actor for 27 years ! Also, I was only involved in one aspect of Star Trek The Next Generation. There were four or more series that came after us and of course the great classics – the original ones – that preceded us.

An evolution on the follow-up to Nemesis
Although the above comment is similar in tone to other statements from Stewart over the last year, from 2002 to 2006 the actor sounded much more enthusiastic about the film that would follow Star Trek Nemesis. In May 2002 (7 months before the premiere of Star Trek Nemesis) Stewart told same the magazine “Everything about the ending of this movie has a sense of closure about it, but there is also a huge opportunity for a sequel to this movie just sitting there.” Four years later in January 2006 Stewart was still talking about a possible role in the 11th Trek film, telling ITV “Apparently there’s interest in bringing THE NEXT GENERATION cast together with actors from different STAR TREK series.” The actor went on to say that he would be happy to work with William Shatner if that is the direction the film went. In May 2006 (after JJ Abrams was announced to be the new king of Trek and indications were he would return to the TOS era), Stewart told ComingSoon that he was “ambivalent” about Trek, but also stated “I’m very interested to see what Abrams and the studio come up with.”

Stewart’s ‘no comment’ approach seems to taking a middle road compared to his TNG co-stars. While Brent Spiner (Data) and especially Jonathan Frakes (Riker) have spoken in support of the the new film, both Michael Dorn (Worf) and especially Marina Sirtis (Troi) have been quite negative about Abrams’ decision to go back to the TOS era.

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Mark
December 25, 2007 4:50 pm

I might as well….Merry Christmas!!!!!

why
December 25, 2007 4:52 pm

first?

Eyewillit
December 25, 2007 4:55 pm

Can you blame him?

Dave
December 25, 2007 5:07 pm

While it’s nice that Frakes is so effusive about the new Trek, Patrick doesn’t really owe it to the new production to play cheerleader. I am sure he doesn’t know much about what’s going on and has other things on his plate. He’s being honest, and these comments are nowhere as irritating as the ones we get regularly from Marina Sirtis.

Patrick’s career after NEM is in a better place than Shatner’s was right after Trek VI. Let the man enjoy his “post-graduate” years. He deserves it. 20 years of service to Trekdom is plenty. And maybe one day, he will enjoy the same career renaissance, the same praise and respect that is finally coming to Shatner. As with the Shat, it would be overdue.

Mickey MET
December 25, 2007 5:08 pm

Sounds alot to me like a case of “Sour grapes” to me.

Jim Secola
December 25, 2007 5:10 pm

well, Hello Mr. Fancypants!

Classic trek
December 25, 2007 5:19 pm

uummm. strange comments. sounds a bit negative to me from mr stewart. nice that he paid some homage to the original old series with ‘ the great classic original ones (episodes) that preceeded us’.

do fans of and stars of TNG feel ‘dumped’???

greg
UK

December 25, 2007 5:24 pm

I for one think Nemesis is a terrible departure for the character of Picard, let alone his entire crew.

If I wanted this to be a final, I would have killed Picard off and not Data.

o.O

My two cents. Well, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all and a cheer to a good year!

DavidJ
December 25, 2007 5:29 pm

#4 agreed.

I don’t think we can ask any more of him than 7 years and 4 movies worth of long, tedious work days spent on a Star Trek set. No matter his true feelings, the guy clearly gave it his all, and was never less than exceptional in the role.

If maybe he sounds a little bitter now and then, so be it. There WAS a lot of crap mixed in with the quality throughout TNG’s run, after all.

Orbitalic
December 25, 2007 5:35 pm

he doesn’t sound bitter… he sounds like he’s… done. Because he doesn’t now keep track of Trek’s happenings doesn’t classify him as bitter.

December 25, 2007 5:35 pm

I always felt that Nemesis should have had Picard move on, maybe promoted to Admiral, with B-9 as his “son” – the family he never had. Riker should have inherited command of the Enterprise with Worf by his side as 1st Officer. That would’ve been a nice tie up to the TNG era.

I’ve also always liked the idea of the films continuing from the TNG, using the best cast from TNG, DS9 and VOY…. but I’m very excited about the new film and I trust Abrams. So… I’m sure Christmas 2008 will be a Merry one :-)

sean
December 25, 2007 5:38 pm

“Stewart seems to be taking a middle road compared to his TNG co-stars by going down the ‘no comment’ road. While Brent Spiner (Data) and especially Jonathan Frakes (Riker) have spoken in support of the the new film, both Michael Dorn (Worf) and especially Marina Sirtis (Troi) have been quite negative about Abrams’ decision to go back to the TOS era.”

Probably because Marina & Michael don’t have work to distract them! ;) Sorry, I’ve met them both and they seem very nice, but they come off as incredibly bitter about this. I know they were both very disappointed (along with Levar Burton) with Nemesis & Baird, but I think they need to move on (as we all do). Frankly, Frakes could never say a bad thing about ANYONE, and Spiner is too smart not to recognize this as a good move on Paramount’s part.

I think Patrick Stewart has always looked at Trek as a job and nothing else. He gave it his best while involved (dune buggy scenes aside), but now that it’s finished he just doesn’t care. The truth is he did have a nice film/theatre career prior to Trek, even if he does sound a wee bit defensive. Still, you have to admit his remarks are far more professional than ‘I hope it bombs!’ or ‘Not including me is a bad business decision!’. Hehe.

Commodore Redshirt
December 25, 2007 5:47 pm

I often wonder when I read quotes from former cast members what the full context is. Media blogs, fan sites, and “insider” movie and sci-fi reporters seem to quote with a little creativity…

[not this site, Anthony does a fantastic job of fact checking!]

Any time people are asked about former jobs, ex lovers, or past works, it’s only natural there would be some discomfort that they are not currently involved…

One year to go…

Cenobyte
December 25, 2007 5:47 pm

It’s funny that he says his time on Trek is over and has been for years, because I could have sworn I heard his voice on the XBOX 360 Star Trek Legacy game (and almost every Trek game since 1995). He’s in this for the money and for the most part always has been, I’ve always felt this guy had a love hate deal with Star Trek.

I’m sure he would have strapped on the jumpsuit again if they decided to make another TNG movie, but I bet he’s not unhappy that he doesn’t have to.

Papa Jim
December 25, 2007 6:00 pm

I guess everyone on TNG were wearing red shirts after all

richpit
December 25, 2007 6:03 pm

I’ve always gotten the feeling that Stewart felt that Star Trek was beneath him, being a Shakespearian actor and all. I guess he didn’t mind the paychecks, though. And, lets be honest….who had EVER heard of him before he was cast as Picard? Any one? No one? Right. Unless you were into Shakespearian theatre in the UK, perhaps.

I think it’s wrong of him to have a “holier than thou” attitude about the one job that made his name a household word.

Kirk's Girdle
December 25, 2007 6:10 pm

Actor-dick syndrome.

Trek made him famous; made his baldness “sexy” (as he stated in an interview once). Very few of us would remember his three lines in “Excalibur”, his five lines in the Tobe Hooper crapfest “Life Force”, or his ten lines as Gurney Halleck in “Dune” if TNG hadn’t come along. It made him a viable actor for American films and television.

Now he’s going the Alexander Dane route and saying “I’ve had a long career in film and theataah, so I have no feelings and shant comment on such silliness.”

And p.s. – Your Ahab and Scrooge were terribly overacted.

December 25, 2007 6:14 pm

Patrick Stewart is terrific, very funny. I just wish he’d do some more movies and TV shows with a comic theme. X-Men, if you ask me, was a waste of his time (1 good and then 2 unbelievably boring movies).

theinquisitor
December 25, 2007 6:17 pm

No! Noooooooo!

(turns and smashed glass cabinet)

zw
December 25, 2007 6:22 pm

Gene Roddenberry was always averse to the ides of going back — his vision was always to go forward. Returning to the TOS era is a mistake like the Enterprise series was a mistake. Star Trek should always go forward. Either continue to the next general or give us a next next generation.

Marina Sirtis is right.

Oregon Trek Geek
December 25, 2007 6:25 pm

I bet his enthusiasm would return quite quickly when the prospect of a TNG movie comes around again. And it will. I could see 2 TOS films, and a third with both TOS and TNG.

Steve
December 25, 2007 6:29 pm

What do ya wanna bet that he’ll get an invitation to the world premiere of the new movie? And what do ya wanna bet he’ll be there?

Izbot
December 25, 2007 6:31 pm

#8. I agree. Data’s death had almost no impact on me (at least how it appeared in Nemesis). It felt too much like deju vu — shades of STII and Spock. Picard’s death would’ve been devastating. As it was, Nemesis was just a terrible film and so off from what NextGen was, even in the other films. Yes, the world and everything has changed since the niave TNG years but trying to go all dark on NextGen was clearly an unwise move. I wish John Logan success but his screenplay, like Braga & Berman’s “These are the voyages…” with all it’s good intentions, did more harm than not. I doubt we’ll ever see the TNG cast get the chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of the movie viewing public.

And Stewart seemed very done with Trek all through Nemesis so it’s no surprise to me that he’s on this campaign to further distance himself from the franchise. He phones in his entire performance in Nemesis. Quite unlike his bravura turn in First Contact. He looks embarrassed in many scenes to even be there. The wedding speech is uncomfortably distant. The ‘banter’ between Data and Picard on the Scimitar as Data tries to override the doorlocking mechanism — I don’t know if it had to do with the difficult time everyone had with director Biard but Mr. Stewart just does not appear to be interested in being there.

Oregon Trek Geek
December 25, 2007 6:33 pm

#20, although I have no qualms about a return to TOS movie, I -would- like to see a next next generation. 80 years after the Ent E. Start working on it now! Artists start sketching the Ent. H!! :)

Premier in Fall 08? Ok, Fall 09?

RandyYeoman
December 25, 2007 6:39 pm

cw…oh please. Marina Sirtis is now the arbiter of the right way to do Trek? You truly believe all her bitching isn’t because she thinks she is loosing out on another big Trek paycheck? And give the Gene stuff a rest…did you speak to his ghost? Do you know that in 2008 he would be against a return to TOS

btw….read this:
http://trekmovie.com/2007/08/25/majel-roddenberry-on-new-movie-gene-roddenberry-on-future-treks/

I love TNG and Picard. In many ways it was a better TV series than TOS. But the TOS movies were clearly better than the TNG movies…and certainly more successful. Only an idiot would do another TNG movie after the poor performance of the last two and the ages of the actors invovled. It is over for TNG…it is time for some to just get over that.

Therefore they really have no choice but to go back to TOS. (unless you think they should committ business suicice and make a VOY or ENT or DS9 movie)

GeneRoddenberryFan37421
December 25, 2007 6:40 pm

Merry Christmas to you guys that run this website. It was quite pleasant & nice for the dig on Christmas day that the Mr. Stewart & crew are “finished”. Why not wait a day to post your summary on the interview? Oh well.

Viking
December 25, 2007 6:51 pm

I’ve always dug Frakes and Spiner for taking the high road and slagged on Sirtis and Dorn for being pissy, but to be fair, there never was a quality script that allowed them to play off of each other’s character strengths within a larger, more epic story line. FC was, unfortunately, a one-off success. Berman and Paramount can go pound sand up their asses with a sharp stick for that transgression.

Sisko Is The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him
December 25, 2007 6:54 pm

Roddenberryfan….how exactly is the above article a ‘dig’ at Stewart and TNG. It wouldnt be hard to turn it into one really, but the above report seems to just report what he said word for word plus provides some previous comments. where is the ‘dig’ …those are Stewarts own words. A few days ago this same site reported comments from Frakes on the new movie….was that article a dig too? Some people are way too sensitive

sean
December 25, 2007 7:10 pm

#17

Let’s not put words in his mouth, shall we? All he said was Trek is over for him, and he doesn’t really have any comment on a project he’s not involved in.

That aside, Stewart was excellent in Dune! He has a lot more than 10 lines, and in fact he’s one of the strongest points in the movie. His performances in Moby Dick and A Christmas Carol were almost universally acclaimed, so I think you’ll find yourself in the minority on his ‘overacting’.

December 25, 2007 7:10 pm

11# Which of the best from TNG, DS9, and VOYAGER cast would you put together to make a Star Trek movie?

December 25, 2007 7:39 pm

If I were king of the Trekiverse (and it’s certainly for the best that I’m not) I’d create an all-new movies-only setup with a whole new crew, rather than doing movies based directly on any of the TV shows. I think it would create more of a sense of mystery about the characters and draw people into wondering what they’d do next, rather than comparing them to what they’d done before. You can reinvent and re-dress TOS all you like and it’ll still be seen (I think) by the general public as a nostalgia film. A nostalgia film I’ll be first in line for, mind you …

But as I said, it’s probably best that I’m not in charge ;) And I think Stewart sounds pretty reasonable … Considering that they’re asking his opinion of a project he has nothing to do with, I think he was very diplomatic.

Jupiter1701
December 25, 2007 7:48 pm

OK, so who has the inside track to play Picard in the reboot of TNG 30 years from now? Better start looking at guys in high school who have high foreheads and sign the guy up!

The new guy can then stay in the shadows for a big part of his adult life, get the gig as Picard in the reboot in 2037, and proceed to tell us that he was somebody important before he got the role. Oh, and that he was responsible for the character being as noteworthy as it is.

Furthermore, a 100-year-old Patrick Stewart, borrowing a set of false teeth from his nursing home room mate, proceeds to talk to the news media every other day about how HE IS PICARD — and how dare they make the movie without him in it!

Meanwhile, the actress who will play Troi is having her diaper changed right now as you read this.

(I know, I always take the twisted approach to these articles. I do it for entertainment purposes only.)

Khan Khan
December 25, 2007 7:58 pm

Just rented the “enhanced” dvd’s of the original series and came away unimpressed. The regular DVD version of the show comes with original “un-enhanced” previews of the episodes. Why? Enhanced previews already exist but somehow were not included instead. The ending of each episode was not “enhanced” Why? They only had to do it once and change the credits. And I could also still see plenty of pops and scratches on each episode. Not the thorough job deserved by all the fans and the 100-plus dollar price tag for the DVDs.

Dr. Image
December 25, 2007 8:02 pm

Stewart supported Nemesis whole-heartedly and it flopped and he’s bitter, to a point.
What do you expect??

Merry Xmas, BTW.
G’nite!

December 25, 2007 8:04 pm

I feel “dumped”, as it’s been said on here. I am really disappointed in Stewart. I understand he’s done and is doing other things, but…

It sounds like he’s bitter because it’s not going to feature him.

I’m just saddened by it. I would like to think that those that have taken part of something I love passionately would also think of it passionately, but… If wishes were fishes…

D
December 25, 2007 8:11 pm

I agree with the fact that Dorn and Sirtis are motivated primarily with a lack of work. Heck, they can’t even seem to get voice work anymore, and that’s usually always going on.

As far as going to the next next generation, Star Trek is about moving forward, but it’s also about staying ‘familiar’ enough that we can relate to the universe. If you go too far ahead in the Star Trek universe, you’re going to end up with a show that feels more like science fantasy than science fiction.

December 25, 2007 8:12 pm

Oh and I would love a DS9 movie. The way Sisko turned out the end in What You Leave Behind made it clear his story is not over. There are days I long for a return to Bajoran space.

And on a Trek Super-Cast, I would love to see a new movie down the line that features the 5 captains teaming up to stop some sort of temporal meddling. But it’ll never happen.

Green-blooded-bastard
December 25, 2007 8:18 pm

#31 Good Idea…I like it.

I would go one further. The first of these new crew/new series movies should involve a new captain running through time and picking up all the previous Star Trek captains for a super-secret mission. He then navigates the new enterprise to Ceti-Alpha VI and dumps their asses in the Botany Bay. Once they’re on the planet, the new captain then proceeds with an orbital bombardment of Quantum Torpedoes on the spot he dumped the captains until all are dead. Then people can quit whining about their favorite captain(s) not being in a movie forever. MUAHAHAA!!!

Iowagirl
December 25, 2007 8:29 pm

„Also, I was only involved in one aspect of Star Trek The Next Generation. There were four or more series that came after us and of course the great classics – the original ones – that preceded us.“

Correct.

Stewart’s unwillingness or inability to comment on STXI is quite comprehensible as he has no knowledge about it – in fact, STXI doesn’t even concern his “operational area”, TNG. Whether disappointment about STXI not including the TNG crew or at least him is part of his unwillingness to comment or not, we cannot know.

Irrespective of those aspects, there may be some typecasting problems that are still getting to him, but he should be proud of his contribution to Star Trek and be aware at the same time that, like Shatner, he’s managed to be successful in other domains, as well.

#12
– Still, you have to admit his remarks are far more professional than ‘I hope it bombs!’ or ‘Not including me is a bad business decision!’ –

The former remark hasn’t still be confirmed nor linked, the latter cannot be juxtaposed with Stewart’s remarks as Stewart has never been part of the TOS franchise, whereas Shatner is its most noted figurehead.

Anthony
December 25, 2007 8:50 pm

Not to go way off-topic, but I have rewatched all the series on DVD and the only one that really got my juices going was DS9. Which is why I would love to see a movie based upon that show. The reason being: all good Trek takes current issues and deals with them in the future…TOS did it intentionally, TNG did it occassionally. But DS9 did it superbly…and prophetically.

Specifically, there is a two-part DS9 episode in which there is a terrorist attack in San Fran. (Like 911) While reviewing the tape of the incident, Worf stops it at “index 911”. (Freaky, no?) Following the attack, certain government officials become involved with a conspiracy to knock out power on Earth so they may create the need for Marshall Law. (Remember when the Eastern portion of the country lost power? Or how about Anthrax?) Does this all sound familiar?

The episodes were from the 1990’s. I was watching it at about 3 in the morning and couldn’t sleep after…I had forgotten the episodes. I made my wife and son watch it the next morning. They we equally freaked.

Give us more DS9. Less Nostrodamus. :)

Pumpkin
December 25, 2007 9:31 pm

I think Patrick Stewart gets tired of answering ST-related questions in general because he’ll get asked about it doing promotional stuff for plays he’s in, other movies, stuff like that. I never got the impression that ST was “beneath him” but just that he’d like to people to also recognize the other work he has done – I don’t think he wants to be “that guy who was Picard” but “that guy who was Picard and also did I, Claudius, Christmas Carol, and lots of other stuff!”

(I know I would be continually perturbed when trying to promote something I felt I and the people I worked with did very well on – only to be asked questions about something I did years ago and am no longer involved with.)

Maybe he’s in his “I Am Not Spock” phase, who knows. (I liken him more to Nimoy than Shatner due to his talent/success before and after the series.) He’s really the only main ST character to have a significant/well-known career before AND after the series.

(As to the other comments, Nemesis was one big giant case of deja-vu. They finally do a movie with the Romulans and interesting characters and manage to make it almost completely awful.)

DavidJ
December 25, 2007 9:50 pm

#20

Roddenberry also didn’t like the militarism of TWOK (which almost every fan completely embraces), and he almost CERTAINLY wouldn’t have liked DS9.

So I don’t think we can say Roddenberry’s judgement was right in every case.

I’m sure if he saw Trek going down the crapper these last 10 years along with the rest of us, HE might think it would be a good idea to go back to the original concept too.

Joel
December 25, 2007 10:33 pm

I mean, who can blame Stewart? It’s been 5 years since the release of Nemesis. This film has nothing to do with TNG (as far as we know), other than the potential era that Nimoy’s Spock is in. Stewart has moved on. Tons of theatre, X-Men 3, and of course his lovely role on American Dad.

It seems to be that Stewart wants to let it remain in the past. Rather than the great send off TOS crew had with VI, Nemesis failed, in most respects. While other TNG actors have voiced support or displeasure with Abrams’s film, Stewart just seems to not care, which is totally cool. Fortunately for him, unlike many of his TNG cohorts, he’s not having trouble finding jobs.

trektacular
December 25, 2007 10:34 pm

Stewart is distancing himself from Star Trek, not smart my friend.

ZoomZoom
December 25, 2007 10:41 pm

can’t say that I’m really all that bothered what Mr S. may be feeling. He had more than a generous run as Picard. His time is well and truly gone.

shuttlepod10
December 25, 2007 11:02 pm

He wasn’t badmouthing the show at all. But the cute little spin after the quote was.

John_Pemble
December 25, 2007 11:18 pm

TNG or TOS, just do a film. Most trek films are poor but when they work they kick ass.

Blake powers
December 26, 2007 12:14 am

he is still my favorite character and actor from any star trek

trektacular
December 26, 2007 12:28 am

Thats the second or third time I’ve read that Kirk would’ve been in the Star Trek All Stars movie, I guess it wouldn’t have been hard to resurrect Kirk for that film.

sirh
December 26, 2007 12:38 am

Ya, seems Stewart gets abrupt when asked Star Trek related questions. Though, when the interview is for Star Trek (ie. History Channel’s Beyond the Final Frontier), he praises it to no end! I’m sure he would do another if the script was good, and the money was right!

Fun fact… here are the current ages of Star Trek: The Next Generation actors (data collected by IMDB.com):

Patrick Stewart 67
Gates McFadden 58
Brent Spiner 58
Michael Dorn 55
Jonathan Frakes 55
Colm Meaney 54
Marina Sirtis 52
Levar Burton 50
Denise Crosby 50
Wil Wheaton 35

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