Obviously, it’s difficult for most fans to ever imagine someone other than Patrick Stewart playing Captain Picard. However, as TrekMovie reports, Stewart recently claimed his iconic role would eventually get recast for a future reboot movie or show, just as William Shatner’s Captain Kirk was. And in order to make life a bit easier for Paramount executives, we decided to whip up something a little special in the replicator: our list of the definitive best picks to replace Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard.
Weirdly enough, Star Trek has already given us a few easy choices for someone to replace Patrick Stewart as Picard. At the top of the list is, of course, Tom Hardy. However, if you only think about roles in films like Mad Max: Fury Road and Venom when you think about Hardy, you might wonder why we think he should ever be the captain of the Enterprise.
It all goes back to the otherwise forgettable Star Trek: Nemesis. That film was the last time Patrick Stewart played his famous Star Trek character on the big screen, and he encountered someone unexpected: Shinzon, a younger clone of Picard. That character was played by a young and impossibly thin Tom Hardy, and it would only make sense for the older Hardy to serve as Stewart’s replacement in the inevitable reboot.
In addition to dazzling us in Star Trek, Patrick Stewart also perfectly portrayed Professor Charles Xavier in the original X-Men movies. When that franchise began setting films in the past, James McAvoy played a younger Xavier and did, frankly, one hell of a job. We think he’d be a great choice to follow in Stewart’s footsteps again in a Star Trek reboot.
Interestingly, the actor agrees with this assessment. James McAvoy has previously discussed his desire to play a young Captain Picard but more recently worried that he might be getting too old to do so. Good news, then: he’s the perfect age to replace Stewart on Star Trek…in fact, McAvoy is currently only three years younger than Stewart was when The Next Generation began airing.
When it comes to dream casting, we’re believers in a simple truth: if you’re going to dream, dream big. And while we doubt the fandom would buy him as the hero of a very different sci-fi franchise (and we also doubt he’d want to shave his head), we think Doctor Who alumnus Matt Smith would be a great choice to replace Patrick Stewart and sit in the big chair on Star Trek. After all that time in the TARDIS, it’s time he got himself an intergalactic upgrade.
Aside from being so famous for being a different kind of space hero, Matt Smith has a lot of qualities that would make him a natural replacement for Patrick Stewart. He’s a genre veteran, an amazing character actor, and (like Stewart himself) very British. And in case you think he’s too whimsical for Star Trek, watch Last Night In Soho or House of the Dragon to see what smoldering intensity he brings to the table.
In our roundup of actors we’d like to see replace Patrick Stewart on Star Trek, some are more surprising choices than others. By far, the biggest wild card in our particular deck would be Mark Strong. He’s a veteran British character actor with dozens of roles under his belt, and he is most familiar to genre fans for his role as Dr. Sivana in Shazam! and Sinestro in Green Lantern.
Why do we think Mark Strong would be a “strong” choice to replace Patrick Stewart on Star Trek? In addition to his aforementioned genre experience and wonderful English accent, we think Strong has an amazing range. Considering that Captain Picard must alternate between being intimately engaging (so to speak) and commandingly stern, Strong’s range would seriously come in handy if he took part.
As we noted before, Star Trek has already given us some easy options for actors who could replace Patrick Stewart. In addition to Tom Hardy playing a young clone of Picard in Star Trek: Nemesis, Ed Speleers played Picard’s son in the third season of Picard. Fans generally enjoyed his performance, leading to widespread demand for a Star Trek: Legacy show to continue his adventures as young Jack Crusher.
Now, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Legacy is ever going to happen. In that case, the franchise could lose Speleers’ talents forever, but if he replaced Patrick Stewart in a Star Trek reboot, we’d get a legacy of a very different kind. Such casting would also solve the “problem” of the 35-year-old actor playing a character a decade younger…now, instead of being too old to be Picard’s son, he might be just the right age to play a younger version of Stewart in this famous Paramount franchise.