If the folks at Paramount do relaunch the Next Generation cast of Star Trek into a new movie series, Tom Hardy as Jean-Luc Picard makes sense.
The folks at Nerdist decided to do a fan-cast for a movie reboot of Star Trek: Next Generation. The concept of the casting is similar to that of the 2009 Star Trek reboot that saw Chris Pine replace William Shatner as James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto was cast as Spock alongside Leonard Nemoy and a host of other big names joined the cast as iconic Star Trek characters. With big names like Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, and Simon Pegg being part of the cast as well. Expecting that a Next Generation reboot would have big names attached to it as well wouldn’t be surprising. So it makes total sense that Nerdist writer Eric Diaz selected Tom Hardy to play Jean-Luc Picard.
Picard was originally (and currently) played by Patrick Stewart in the Next Generation series, the films that followed it, and the sequel series Picard. In his last outing as Picard in a Star Trek film, Star Trek: Nemesis, he took on an evil clone of himself by the name of Shinzon, played by, ironically, Tom Hardy himself.
Having Hardy return to Star Trek to play Picard after playing his younger, evil, clone, is brilliant casting and is peak fan service.
Beyond just the fact that Hardy has already played Picard, kinda, Hardy is also a great actor. He may be known for his physique and action roles but that’s just window dressing. Hardy is a brilliant actor who can carry a role or a film all on his own. For those who think his larger frame would be too much as Picard, remember that Hardy gained massive amounts of weight for the roles of Bane, and he’s actually much more svelt than appears often in films. Plus, what’s the harm of having a captain who’s actually in really good shape?
Hardy as Picard would bring a new wrinkle to the character and that could be truly interesting if the series was rebooted as a Trek film. Unlike the Original Series, which only got so many episodes and a few movies, The Next Generation got seven seasons, four films, and a spin-off series featuring two of their more prominent crew members. The stories of that generation have been told. So if you’re going to retell it, tell it differently. Tell it with Hardy as Picard.
That way when the film cold opens on a Klingon berating Picard and his ships’ crew, proclaiming that they’re in Klingon space and must yield, Hardy-Picard can look at the viewscreen, smirk, and say…” and…that gives you power over me?”
I mean, if they just have Hardy reprise Bane on the Enterprise, I’d be all for that too.