As the project seems less and less likely to happen, details have emerged about what Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie would have looked like. Years ago, Quentin Tarantino threw his hat into the ring of the ever-growing Star Trek universe by teasing an R-rated installment in the franchise. While the Pulp Fiction director’s style isn’t necessarily in keeping with that of Star Trek’s, many fans were still excited by the idea of seeing what kind of story would come out of the superfan known for wildly violent films.
Now, in a new interview with the Bulletproof Screenwriting podcast, Quentin Tarantino’s co-writer on the Star Trek project, The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith, offered some key details about what the two of them were working on and the likelihood that it will no longer come to fruition.
According to Smith (via TrekMovie.com), Quentin Tarantino envisioned the story as a nod to 1930s gangster movies. The first time he met the director, he read him a scene he wrote from his idea for the Star Trek movie that he could only describe as a scene that would take place in one of those old-timey mobster films. He says they spent hours at his home in ensuing visits just watching those kinds of movies and tossing around ideas for what an R-rated, gangster-themed Star Trek movie would be.
He also confirmed that Quentin Tarantino envisioned Captain James T. Kirk as a character in the movie, which likely means Spock, Sulu, McCoy, Scotty and the rest would join from J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise. Tarantino had previously praised both the style and performances from Abrams’ films. Smith explained that Tarantino wanted to pretend that the previous installments in the franchise didn’t happen, though, and simply treat this movie as its own standalone episode — just one that was the length of a movie. He also offhandedly threw in that time travel played a factor in the plot as well. Unfortunately, that’s where his details about the project ended.
This would be in keeping with previous rumors that Quentin Tarantino was signaling that his movie would be inspired heavily by a season two episode of Star Trek: The Original Series titled A Piece of the Action, in which the characters find themselves on an Earth-like planet that’s somehow heavily influenced by 1930s gangster culture.
Unfortunately, as early as 2020, Quentin Tarantino was seemingly walking back his involvement in the Star Trek franchise. IndieWire reports that he admitted the likelihood that he would direct was out the window. In fact, it’s possible that not only will fans not get a Star Trek movie out of Quentin Tarantino, they might not get anything.
The director previously appeared on the Pure Cinema Podcast where he confessed that his movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might just be his last ever. While he has said that he’ll do one more and make it great, if he ended where he’s at right now, he’d end on a high note. He explained that he feels most director’s final movies are trash. Therefore, Quentin Tarantino hopes to have the wherewithal to go out on a high note in his career. Thanks to a few Oscar wins, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood definitely fits that definition. Meanwhile, as fun as his story sounds for a new Star Trek movie, as anyone who has previously grappled with the franchise will tell you, there’s quite a lot of room for failure.