Lifelong Trekkie and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon has taken the captain’s chair on an upcoming “Star Trek” series for CBS All Access.
Deadline reports that Chabon has been named the showrunner of “Star Trek: Picard,” which will follow the new journeys of the Shakespeare-quoting Starship Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard. Patrick Stewart, who rose to fame in the role on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” is reprising the character for the show.
Chabon first announced he was coming on board as a writer for the series last fall, working on the show’s development alongside “Star Trek: Discovery” co-creator Alex Kurtzman and executive producer Akiva Goldsman.
“Daring, lyrical, humane, whimsical, celebrated: words that describe both Jean-Luc Picard and the literary genius of Michael Chabon,” Kurtzman told Deadline. “Despite a laundry list of accomplishments most writers only dream of, Michael shines with the heart and soul of a Trekkie who’s finally found his dream job.”
The “Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” novelist has recently become more involved in the world of television. He wrote both a 2018 and a 2019 episode of CBS All Access’s “Star Trek: Star Shorts,” and in January, news broke that he and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, were developing his 2007 novel “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” into a miniseries. Waldman and Chabon also co-created the forthcoming series “Unbelievable” with screenwriter Susannah Grant. The series, based on a 2015 ProPublica article about a young woman charged with lying about being sexual assaulted, will star Toni Collette and Merritt Wever.
Despite Chabon’s recent forays into film and television, not everyone was pleased with Chabon’s elevation to showrunner. TV critic Sonya Saraiya, for instance, wondered if there couldn’t have been a more experienced and diverse pick to lead the series.
you’re telling me that cbs ran out of white male showrunners and handed it to an untried-at-TV white male novelist? well i’m shocked— sonia_saraiya (@soniasaraiya) June 27, 2019
Details of the show are currently scant, but a teaser trailer released by CBS All Access show the fan favorite captain, in retirement from Star Fleet, leading a life as a vintner. Stewart’s Picard is also referred to as “Admiral” in the teaser, so it looks like Chabon isn’t the only one who’s moved up the ranks.
“‘Star Trek’ has been an important part of my way of thinking about the world, the future, human nature, storytelling and myself since I was 10 years old,” Chabon told Deadline. “I come to work every day in a state of joy and awe at having been entrusted with the character and the world of Jean-Luc Picard, with this vibrant strand of rich, intricate tapestry that is ‘Trek.’”
PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at email@example.com
Michael Chabon Named Showrunner For ‘Star Trek: Picard’