Star Trek: Picard’s Michael Dorn And Jonathan Frakes Share Thoughts On Their Roles Possibly Being Recast Someday
Star Trek: Picard is zooming right along and, for the moment, it seems as though it will indeed be the final adventure for the OG Next Generation cast. And yet, Trek fans should know by now that just because the adventure is over for the actors, doesn't mean it necessarily concludes for their characters. A number of legacy roles have been recast over the years, as viewers no doubt know. With that in mind, I had to ask franchise icons Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes how they'd feel about their roles being played by other actors someday.
Michael Dorn has appeared in Star Trek more frequently than any other actor in the franchise, so it's understandable that he would be a bit protective of the role. When I asked Dorn about the idea of someone succeeding him in the role of Worf one day, he shared a relatively blunt take on the notion:
Well, hopefully, I’ll be dead by then [laughs]. You know, who knows? I mean, they’d have to go back to before Next Generation, I would think, to cast something like that. I don’t think they would do that. I really don’t.
Michael Dorn's comments suggest that he doesn't see a reality in which Star Trek would recast characters from The Next Generation. But fans have seen that practice often by way of Discovery and Strange New Worlds, which has brought back a lot of major characters. A key factor to mention here, of course, is that these iterations exist as part of the "Prime timeline." All in all, when the franchise has successfully reimagined roles as iconic as Captain Kirk and Spock, it's hard to imagine that anyone is truly off the table.
When I asked Jonathan Frakes the recasting question, he had some very interesting thoughts. Faced with the idea of someone replacing him as Will Riker, he offered up a unique suggestion:
I would nominate Wil Wheaton to play Will Riker... He’s a wonderful actor, and he’s got Riker’s beard now.
Wil Wheaton, of course, already plays Wesley Crusher in the Star Trek universes. I'm not sure the franchise would tap him to play a younger Riker, though I'd be interested to see how Wheaton would fare in the role. Maybe he can give it a shot in an upcoming episode of The Ready Room?
Ultimately, neither actor seemed willing to get too candid about their thoughts on other characters playing Worf and Riker, but that's not surprising. Plus, there are still plenty of people who are begging for more projects featuring them in their iconic roles, after seeing their work in Star Trek: Picard Season 3. I mean, if the actors are still content playing the parts, is there even reason for the producers to consider recasting?
Yet there are a lot of factors to consider in regard to whether Paramount+ will opt for a Picard follow-up and, as of writing, there's nothing officially in the works. With that said, Michael Dorn shared some interesting thoughts on the ending of Season 3 and how he thinks endings are overrated. Could this mean there is a story to tell beyond Picard that features Dorn, Jonathan Frakes and their colleagues reprising their roles again? I sure hope so.
Catch new episodes of Star Trek: Picard Season 3 on Thursdays by streaming them with a Paramount+ subscription. Now is the time to subscribe if you're looking to catch the series in its final season -- or if you want to get in on the upcoming Trek shows arriving later this year.