James McAvoy Gives His Young Picard Pitch + Producers Talk Animated ‘Star Trek: Short Treks’

In addition to everything happening with the second season of Star Trek: Discovery there are a number of other Star Trek shows in various stages of development to keep track of, with a few little developments in the last couple of days.

McAvoy wants in on Picard show, makes his pitch

Last fall actor James McAvoy used social media to offer his services to Sir Patrick Stewart in case the new Jean-Luc Picard show needed a guy for flashbacks. McAvoy has experience playing a younger version of Stewart in the X-Men franchise and he does not appear to be kidding about wanting to do it again for Star Trek.

Speaking to MTV, McAvoy said he was “jonesing for some Trekkin’,” making the case to fans he will “take you where no Star Trek fan has gone before, I will reveal things about Jean-Luc Picard that nobody even wanted to see.” He also rattled off his version of Picard’s catchphrases including “engage,” “make it so, Number One,” and “tea, Earl Grey, hot.” McAvoy made it clear he doesn’t expect to get the call, but he is looking forward to the show and he is ready if needed. Watch it below.

Animated Short Treks to be different styles and tie into season

On Friday, Star Trek executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin were the first guests for the new Star Trek: Discovery companion show The Ready Room, which is streamed on Facebook. In addition to discussing “New Eden” and Discovery’s second season, they also talked a bit about the expanding Star Trek universe on TV, and specifically about some of the animated projects in development.

Two new Short Treks are coming this year.

The pair confirmed that two animated Star Trek: Short Treks episodes are coming up after the second season of Discovery wraps up on CBS All Access. Kadin said the animated shorts are “completely different” in style from the animated comedy Star Trek: Short Treks, being developed by Rick and Morty’s Mike McMahan, with Kurtzman noting “It won’t be anything like Lower Decks. We are experimenting with different animation.”

Of the animated shorts, Kadin said:

They are also going to answer some questions of things that we’ve dropped into the first seasons and maybe you didn’t have questions about, but we are going to fill in some blanks.

And Kurtzman added:

They are connected to the season in different ways. What I love about Short Treks is we are trying to expand the boundaries of the traditional Star Trek definition without in any way violating what people love about Star Trek. So, the idea that we get to try different short stories with very different tones is exciting to us, and styles. Each one wants to look different and be about something different. If you watch it in of itself it is hopefully a satisfying experience. And then when you watch the whole season, it makes that even more because you have had that too. So, that’s been the goal of it. We are excited that there is going to be two animation styles with references to two things that have happened in the season.

Michelle Yeoh: Section 31 series will be the space ride of your life

Last night actress Michelle Yeoh was at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, nominated as part of the cast of Crazy Rich Asians. On the red carpet, she spoke briefly with The Hollywood Reporter about the recently announced Section 31 spin-off show. When asked why she signed on for more Star Trek, Yeoh said:

Because it is such an exciting universe. It is so different from all the other things that I do. And I love our creators – Alex Kurtzman, Heather [Kadin], the whole crowd of them at [Kurtzman’s production company] Secret Hideout and CBS All Access – who are so devoted to make sure the quality that when you are going out to space, you are going to have a ride of your life. And it’s just that the character of Emperor Georgiou is so special.

Watch it below.


Keep up with all the upcoming Star Trek TV shows on TrekMovie.com.

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I wouldn’t say no to McAvoy staring in a Stargazer miniseries or three.

I would watch that. I remember when X-Men Days of Futures Past came out Stewart and McAvoy did an interview on one of the early morning shows and they did get along very well and joked about the possibility.

Just don’t bring back Tom Hardy…

Tom Hardy did a great job with what he was given but I agree that McAvoy would be better.

I still maintain that Hardy was doing an impression of the film’s ‘director’ throughout. There’s a tone that I don’t quite recall Hardy ever taking in anything else I’ve seen him in. Plus, regardless of whatever else you think of NEM, his performance was incredibly handicapped by that costume of his, which makes it look like he needs an exoskeleton in order to stand up and walk round.

I also think that NEM would have benefited from having an actor in the role who was in some ways something apart from Stewart while also bearing a strong resemblance — from only certain angles … specifically, Timothy Dalton. Of course it needed a rewrite in the worst way too, but between being saddled with that director and this material, it couldn’t really deliver much of anything.

Timothy Dalton is six years younger than Stewart.

I actually like him as an actor I need to mention, I wouldn’t mind him returning as a different character one day. I just don’t see Hardy as Picard anymore. Plus, I don’t see Jean-Luc ever being that jacked.

McAvoy I can see though. He did well as Charles Xavier and I think he would do well as Jean-Luc.

Me neither, but I wonder what the wider reaction would be. It seems prequel series are ok if they follow established characters, i.e.: the Enterprise B or C, a young Picard, etc.

I’d take any series, or movie, set on an Ambassador Class ship too. I love that design.

Just goes to show people will find any excuse to pick on DSC. They complain that it’s a prequel and then ask for a Stargazer series!

Rest assured I would have zero interest in a Stargazer show. ;)

Would I give it a chance, of course, but I would’ve been just as disappointed if they announced that as I was when they announced Discovery. I think a lot of people would because then that meant you would’ve replaced Stewart in the role with a new actor. To me, it would’ve felt like Solo did.

Solo was still a good movie.

I agree, it was, but I didn’t have any real drive or passion to see it either, the first SW film I ever felt that way about (although also not a huge interest in RO either but was more curious about it). And I have a feeling a lot of people felt that way and why it partly did so poorly. If Harrison Ford was in the movie and it was a story about his time between ROTJ and TFA, the film could’ve had all the same issues this one did in terms of production and still easily made twice as much.

Not me. I like Discovery. 😁

I’d be on board with that.

I’ve been asking for a Stargazer series for YEARS!!

I’ll say this much: she’s good at spouting the talking points she’s been fed. “I love our creators…and CBS All Access who are so devoted to make sure the quality, that when you go out to space, you’re going to have the ride of your life.”

Clearly someone at CBS understands that there are likely to be quality control issues with this tsunami of new Trek products out there. One the one hand, it’s good that at least someone recognizes this issue, and they do seem to have given a lot of attention to casting. On the other hand, giving the actors talking points is not the same as solving the problem.

We certainly do not need TWO animated versions of Star Trek produced at the same time. Frankly, I’d settle for zero.

Oy ::facepalm::

Is this the first actor interview you’ve ever read? An actor in an active, ongoing show will almost never say anything very far off script. Part of what they get paid for is to promote the show. Plus, this was on a red carpet, wasn’t it? Not exactly the most conducive place to give a more in-depth interview.

Why do people come here who clearly aren’t Star Trek fans?

Why are people coming here trying to declare other folks to not be fans just because they have a different perspective?

Why does everyone have to like every show CBS puts out there to qualify as a Trek fan? I think the idea for a Section 31 show stinks, and very likely will not tune in. But I assure you, I’m a Trek fan. Just ask my wife, who very good-naturedly puts up with it nearly every day.

@Land – Please define what a Star Trek fan is, and then explain how The River Temarc fails to meet your definition.

Warning to Land O’Calrissian, no one gets to be sole arbiter of who is or who is not a Star Trek fan.

So you go to your boss and say you don’t like your company, him and the products you sell or services you offer?

From which universe are you?

Not just to your boss, but to the press!

There have been actors and other creatives who don’t always spout or regurgitate the party line. Rare, but such creatures do exist.

Personally I’d have been happier if Yeoh had said something like the full potential of her character hasn’t yet been tapped — if she believed it, that is.

And it is a good employee’s responsibility to point out options and how to improve things. When I was on staff at a magazine known for it journalistic accuracy, we were constantly flummoxed by having to remove any mention of how ILM used macintosh computers for their VFX finals, because they had something called the JEDI agreement (with Silicon Graphics I think) that indicated they couldn’t mention other systems. ILM had a whole department, the Rebel Mac unit, that did lots of work (all of the CG part of the FC space battle for instance), but all we could do is use the ‘Rebel unit’ euphemism without actually describing the tools, which went against the whole way the mag was supposed to work. Even more confusingly, Electric Image, the company responsible for the software, advertised on the back cover, so it was like the ads were more truthful than the mag’s contents. I lobbied against this repeatedly, but the mag felt they couldn’t endanger their standing with ILM. Yet other journalists in places like CGW routinely mentioned the Macs and how they were used, without reprisal.

This seems a little sexist. When have male actors been accused of being “fed” talking points here.

I’m not sure if ‘special’ is quite the word most fans would use to describe MU Georgiou. But Yeoh clearly loves the character and I can’t blame her. I imagine playing ruthless, hard drinking, sex crazy, Kelpian eating and genocide loving MU Terran turned Section 31 agent is a lot more fun than uptight by-the-rules Captain ‘Starfleet doesn’t fire first’ Gerogiou. Boooooooooorrrrrring.

I’m waiting for lines like this. “Why don’t we just wipe out all the Gorn and can later celebrate our victory on Risa?” “We can’t do that?” “Why?” “Because even Section 31 can’t condone mass murder.” “Why?” “It would be pretty unethical.” “Why? And what does that word mean? You keep using it.” “We just can’t do it, OK?” “Whatever. Are we still going to Risa after the mission?” “Sure”

That’s going to be the typical discussion every time they show up.

You seem upset about something. 😉

Yeah, I wish I could visit Risa too. :(

The open question is how to reconcile MU Georgiou with a whole season of TV dedicated to Section 31 that still seems invested in themes of optimism (I assume Georgiou wouldn’t be the main protagonist in such a project). I’m sure DSC will plant the seeds to answer this question later in the season, but for now these seem like fair points to raise.

“Special” is a word I would rather use to describe Tilly (though not in a good sense either) ;-)

MU Georgiou is just a mass-murdering maniac, period. She’s worse than Lorca really but giving how SHE ended up, alive and kicking, looking all “delicious” with a genocidal smirk on the lips, and possibly even getting a “redemption arc” for good measure, in comparison to poor universally hated, subatomically disintegrated Lorca (Rest in pieces), tells you that Lorca has some unwanted quality that she doesn’t. Can’t put my finger on it :P

Why does special describe Tilly? Do elaborate.

Queen B_ of the uni has a cache that king B_ of the verse doesn’t.

“Special” is used as a slur here and in general to describe people with autism spectrum conditions. It’s not cute and it should not be tolerated.

Exactly my point. I was hoping he’d admit to being a disgustingly piggish, nasty, and intolerant person.

You’re right VS, people with special needs, or just awkward people, shouldn’t be depicted on Television.

I’m not insulted by what you say, but I find it strange that your username and your views are in stark contrast with each other.

One thing I see this show doing is bringing in species like the Borg, Dominion, Romulan, Farengi, Gorn, you name it – species which shouldn’t be around yet pre-TOS – because it’s all ‘top secret’ under Section 31. The fact it’s a covert operation will open a lot of doors to the writing staff which would otherwise be locked in this time period.

Star Trek: Stargazer Make it so!!!!

It would have to be a new ship named Stargazer. Unless they re-commission the old one. What’s that saying “Never throw anything away.”

One Day an Actor will step forward and say: “I hope the show I am starring in will be good. I dont know… people can make great art and not so great art in the same carrer. I Hope this one will be great! We will see!”

I’d love to see a young Picard series. They could time it to end in 8 years when he takes command of the Enterprise, at which point McAvoy will be the same age a Stewart at the start of TNG!

While I determinedly look on the TOS show and it’s characters and aliens as being set in a totally separate ‘alternate fantasy universe’ to the one the DISCOVERY show is set in…I’m quite looking forward now to adding ‘Section 31’ (and the new PiCARD show) into my personal ‘STAR TREK Multi-Verse’ way of looking at this franchise.

Make it so, Yeoh!

Meant to add that it would be neat to see McAvoy make a ‘younger Picard’ appearance at some point in the new show, even if was a cameo ‘flashback’ in one of the episode storylines.

One thing I’ve learned about film and tv is no producer wants anyone who is actually interested in playing a role. It’s a weird paradox. They seem to love having to convince an actor to be in Star Trek. If you have to ask, you’ve got no chance. This is just my experience. McAvoy, you’re much cuter than I, so ymmv. Also maybe I suck?

How quickly people forget that Quinto was cast as Spock as a direct result of his own campaigning for the role.

Paul Giamatti famously went on Conan O’Brien to campaign for the role of The Rhino in a Spider-Man movie. There have been numerous other cases where publically campaigning has worked out, though more often than not it doesn’t.


Usually it’s because it’s lesser actors campaigning for major roles, actors campaigning for movies that are not being made, or actors who would be wrong for the role.

The times it’s worked out is usually when the actor is right for the part, is well known, and in line with the film’s budget.

The latter of which is why McAvoy likely would never get this part. Would they be able to afford a legitimate leading man and current film star?

According to his IMDB page McAvoy has done 2 TV shows recently. But that interview could just be him playing along with the show’s host instead of him really being interested in taking on a part in a Trek show.

It’s certainly possible he’d do a miniseries: his two TV shows are “His Dark Materials”– an HBO series in which he guests in 3 episodes; and “Watership Down” a Netflix series where he provides his voice to a CG animated rabbit.

Could he be gotten on a Trek budget for a CBSAA series? Yes.

The issues is, unless he’s the series lead, is he worth the investment to show up in a few episodes in flashback? Is his appearance in a few scenes or episodes enough to attract an audience?

In that scenario, it might be smarter just to get someone lesser known, or de-age Patrick Stewart digitally.

Yes and Samuel L. Jackson got a role in Star Wars by campaigning for it on a talk show. So yes it definitely happens. Probably not that often but it does prove actors can get work that way if the right people are listening and can imagine them in a role.

Its clear in McAvoy’s case he’s just messing around. There is no proof there is even young Picard part lol. I’m sure part of him wouldn’t mind doing Star Trek but the guy seems pretty busy these days.

I love McAvoy, such a good actor. I’m not sure if it’s good for his career if he just follows roles Stuart created, but I’d love to see him in Star Trek.

He seems to be doing fine getting roles that are not related to Patrick Stewart.

Worth noting that River Phoenix played Harrison Ford’s son in “The Mosquito Coast” as well as the son of Indiana Jones in “Last Crusade.” McAvoy is well known enough to prevent being type cast as a young Patrick Stewart.

If he wants to do it, and they want him to do it, I see no reason for it to be a problem.

That said, I think there are better choices.

Phoenix did not play Indy’s son. That was Shia LaBeouf(sp). River played a young Indiana Jones.

Sorry, I meant a young Indy. That typo was pretty obvious. Of course, you knew that, and just wanted to argue.

That’s not a typo. A typo is Rhine vs. Rhone. You just made a mistake and tried to pass it off as a typo. But most are not that dim and see right through it. Just like most see right through the ‘this is why Klingons had no hair last season’ excuse.

Also, you are the leader in antagonizing posts designed to start arguments. You still do it quite often.

Is it just me or is he starting to look a lot like Michael Fassbender?

I’m not looking to argue this point, and I know a lot of you like McAvoy as an actor, but I’ve never been impressed with him. He has zero charisma on camera and always looks like he’s “phoning in” every performance.

It is really amazing to see people already trashing the new shows, most of which aren’t even produced yet. How can they possibly know if the show is good or bad without even seeing it?

It’s the new fad. Whine about everything and pretend that somehow “you” know best. LOL

I would love to see James play young Picard. He rocks the professor in x-men. Frankly, I’d watch him in anything.

McAvoy is only seven years younger than Patrick Stewart was when he started acting in TNG.

‘Younger’ Picard, perhaps, but hardly ‘young’ Picard!