Alex Kurtzman, the co-creator of Star Trek: Discovery who will executive produce the new CBS All Access show, shared details about the project Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Stewart first played Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran from 1987 to 1994, and reprised the role in several movies. Kurtzman said the 78-year-old actor trusts him to bring new life to the beloved character.
"Patrick didn't want to put handcuffs on us in any way by saying, 'I don't want to do this and I don't want to do that,'" the producer said, according to Entertainment Tonight. "He said, 'I want you to have the freedom to explore this character from a new perspective."
"We've started to internalize his thinking about Picard. Because that conversation is literally daily, either on e-mail or in the room in person, we feel confident that we're making choices that he would be happy with and is happy with because he's ultimately a producer on the show, too, and he gets as much of a say," he explained.
Kurtzman said Stewart made it clear to producers he did not want to repeat what he had already done in the Star Trek universe, according to The Wrap. The untitled new series will take place more than 20 years after fans last saw Picard.
"It's been 20-plus years, so he couldn't possibly be that same person anymore," the producer said of the character.
"The question becomes: What has happened to him in that period of time?" he shared. "How do you hold on to being the person that everybody loved, when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically? Those are the big questions that we're asking."
Stewart shared a behind-the-scenes photo in September after beginning work on the series. He previously said it was "an unexpected but delightful surprise" to have the opportunity to revisit Picard in a new show.