Sir Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard may be one of the most beloved characters in Star Trek history but according to the actor, creator Gene Roddenberry was against the idea of him starring in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“Gene had very strongly felt that I was wrong for the role … I am told,” Stewart claimed during a panel at Star Trek Las Vegas on Friday. “I don’t know the details, but there was a lot of warfare that went on in the producers offices about that.”
Stewart explained that it was producer Robert Justman who wanted to cast him in the role, but Roddenberry “profoundly disagreed” after meeting with Stewart himself. According to Stewart, Roddenberry relented after being “worn down” by Justman and others. Fortunately, Stewart says he “got the feeling that he [Roddenberry] was ultimately kind of satisfied with how it turned out.”
Roddenberry passed away in 1991, only a few years into The Next Generation’s run, which began in 1987 and finished in 1994.
The next iteration of Star Trek, the CBS All Access series Star Trek Discovery, airs its first episode on September 24, 2017.