During a recent interview, Collider asked James McAvoy if he has a dream role that he hasn’t had the chance to play yet. This is a common question during interviews, so it’s something the actor has been asked before. He said that he’s always loved Star Trek. The actor then added, “If you ever want to do a young Jean-Luc Picard, I’m your man.” Jean-Luc Picard has been played by Patrick Stewart, both on Star Trek: The Next Generation and most recently on Picard. In the past, Patrick Stewart also played Charles Xavier, also known as Professor X, for the X-Men movies. James McAvoy more recently played a younger version of his character for the franchise. Playing another of Patrick Stewart’s younger characters would be an interesting thing to see on screen, though James McAvoy did admit that he may be getting too old to play a young Jean-Luc for Star Trek now, and that wasn’t the only problem with him ever landing the role.
James McAvoy acknowledged during his interview that he may just be too overqualified. He said, “I’ve successfully been Patrick, actually, and balded up, although maybe again, the young Jean-Luc wouldn’t be bald. But yeah, no, maybe I’m overqualified for it, though. That’s the other thing. Do you know what I mean? It’s too easy, it’s too obvious a choice. So maybe that turns people off from it.”
Currently, Patrick Stewart is still playing Jean-Luc Picard, however, there are a growing number of Star Trek projects happening all the time. It does seem true that James McAvoy’s previous role as a younger version of a Patrick Stewart character may hurt his chances. However, they could just as well help him. For example, if he worked his Hollywood connections, specifically through Patrick Stewart himself. There would need to be a project where a young Jean-Luc Picard was required though, and that may be strange while Patrick Stewart is still playing the role.
James McAvoy indicated that he’d started saying the Jean-Luc Picard role was a dream of his as a joke, but at the same time, he meant it. He is a Star Trek fan. It makes sense that he would choose Captain Jean-Luc Picard as a role he’d want to play, both because of his connection to Patrick Stewart and because Jean-Luc is a popular captain in Star Trek. While it may be true that James McAvoy has already grown too old to play a particularly young Jean-Luc Picard, the franchise is growing. Star Trek always needs actors. It seems entirely possible that if the actor keeps putting it out there, someday, he could have a character all his own. Perhaps his own captain character.
A lot of great actors like to push themselves, and James McAvoy is no exception. He recently signed on for the thriller My Son. In that project, the actor is completely improvising his lines. In recent years, he’s been in a wide variety of projects, never content to stay in one genre or type of project. He’s performed in His Dark Materials, a fantasy series, It Chapter Two, a horror movie, and has already starred in his own pandemic film with Together. Perhaps someday his schedule will include a Star Trek project, either for the big screen or a series. There are plenty of upcoming new works for the franchise to choose from.