The Picard/Data show attitude is just mind-boggling as it ignores just about everything that made TNG successful
Not so mind-boggling at all.
The first thing Robert Wise did after being signed to direct "In Thy Image" as a feature film was to ask, "Where is Spock?"
They then pursued Nimoy and offered him more and more until he agreed to participate. That elevated Nimoy from being Shatner's lower-paid co-star to getting a "favored nations" contract (comparable to the leading actor's perks and pay) and
a settlement of a nasty, long-term, character-likeness approval dispute.
Both Stewart and Spiner (and their agents) played hard to get with their TNG movie contracts. Paramount could
have risked going ahead without their two most popular stars. Or not. The rest of the cast were just happy, more or less, to get more work.