James McAvoy still has an interest in portraying a young Jean-Luc Picard for Star Trek.
James McAvoy is known to many for his roles in Wanted, The Last King of Scotland, and the original UK version of Shameless. Others will clearly remember him as the young Charles Xavier from the Fox X-Men franchise. McAvoy famously played the younger version of Xavier, the older version of course played by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame. Stewart took the role while still portraying Jean-Luc Picard in the Next Generation film franchise.
With Trek winding down, it was an opportunity for Stewart to hop into a new franchise. After McAvoy took the role of young Xavier, there became a bit of a joke about how McAvoy should start doing young versions of all of Stewart’s characters. Namely a young Picard. McAvoy himself even got in on the joke.
In an interview with Collider, McAvoy spoke on his jokes about playing a young Jean-Luc Picard aren’t as much of a joke as people think.
"I’ve often talked about loving Star Trek, and jokingly, but also kind of seriously been like, if you ever want to do a young Jean-Luc Picard, I’m your man. But I’m probably getting close to being too old to do a young Jean-Luc Picard now. So there’s that… the only one that comes to mind is Star Trek, I think. I’ve always loved it. Always."
In the same interview, he’d go on to say;
"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."
James McAvoy wouldn’t be a bad choice to play a young Jean-Luc Picard
A reboot of The Next Generation is almost guaranteed to happen at some point. Hollywood is lazy like that. So if they end up doing a reboot, or a prequel of sorts, the question you should ask yourself is this; Do you want someone who doesn’t have a history with Stewart taking over his, arguably, most iconic role?
McAvoy and Stewart may not be as close as Stewart and Ian McKellen but the two do get along well with one another. McAvoy even embraced Stewart’s essence when taking on the Xavier role. The two clearly worked well together and McAvoy understands the gravity of taking on a role with such fan support.
He’s certainly still young enough. He’s only 42 and Stewart was in his mid-50s when he took on the role. With Hollywood makeup and magic, you could easily make him look 20 years younger. It also doesn’t hurt that Stewart looked much older when he filmed The Next Generation, making McAvoy’s more youthful appearance a major plus.
If it has to happen, let it happen with McAvoy. He’s the right choice and his closeness to Stewart is a part of that. Maybe someone else could be a bitter fit, but they’ll receive so much backlash it won’t be worth it. Yet, someone like McAvoy? Fans could get behind that.