Picard Series Pilot To Be Helmed By 'Star Trek: Discovery' Director Hanelle Culpepper

CBS All Access has found the captain for their Jean-Luc Picard series. Hanelle Culpepper, director of episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, along with Supergirl and Gotham, will direct the pilot and second episode. This makes Culpepper the first female filmmaker to direct a Star Trek pilot in the 53-year history of the franchise.

The Wrap reports that Hanelle Culpepper will direct the first two episodes of the CBS All Access Picard series. "Hanelle is a gifted and dynamic filmmaker whose directorial choices are always deeply rooted in character," said Alex Kurtzman, co-showrunner of Star Trek: Discovery and the leader of all-things Trek on CBS All Access. "I've been a huge fan of her work since she started with us on  Discovery, and she's the perfect person to re-introduce the beloved character of Picard to longtime fans and new viewers alike. We're thrilled she's joining our Trek family on this next adventure."

While there have been many female directors in Trek series history, Culpepper is the first to direct a pilot. In addiction to Discovery, she's also directed episodes of CounterpartSupergirlGotham and the upcoming NOS4A2.

The Picard series brings Patrick Stewart back to his iconic Next Generation role, with the story picking up twenty years after the events of the Next Generation film Star Trek: Nemesis.

"During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership," Stewart said when the series was first announced. "I feel I'm ready to return to him for the same reason — to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more."

"It's been 20-plus years, so he couldn't possibly be that same person anymore," Kurtzman said last month at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. "The question becomes: What has happened to him in that period of time? Have there been occurrences that force him to reckon with choices that he's made in his life? How do you hold on to to being the person that everybody loved, when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically? Those are the big questions that we're asking."

The Picard series will debut on CBS All Access at the end of 2019.