Sir Patrick Stewart is returning to the 'Star Trek' franchise.
The 78-year-old actor will again portray Captain Jean-Luc Picard - who he originally played in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' from 1987 until 1994 and a number of spin-off movies - in a new series for CBS All Access, which is described as an exploration of the next chapter of his character's life and he is feeling "excited and invigorated" about returning to the role.
He said in a statement: "I will always be very proud to have been a part of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course.
"It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.
"During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how 'The Next Generation' brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership.
" I feel I'm ready to return to him for the same reason -- to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times.
"I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more."
And showrunner Alex Kurtzman is delighted to have Patrick - who will executive produce - back on board.
He said: "With overwhelming joy, it's a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can't wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old."
Specific details for the show, including its title, episode count and premiere date, have yet to be announced.
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