Rod Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, has weighed in with his thoughts about a movie of the iconic sci-fi franchise by Oscar-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood). He spoke to Forbes about his conflicting feelings about this potential movie that has been up in the air for years.
Star Trek means a lot to him by the way he grew up. Being the son of the creator behind one of the biggest sci-fi franchises in the world, he has plenty of people telling him how much they love the universe. There is something special that it holds personally to him, but he also sees what makes it what it is that people love with its messaging and its style. He cannot see a more action-oriented installment, especially with Quentin Tarantino having his own brand of filmmaking that includes extreme violence with plenty of swearing.
“I mentioned that I grew up with fans coming up to me out saying how Star Trek inspired them and gave them hope for the future. It’s the optimism and the messaging in there that make Star Trek what it was. I truly believe that. If you create a Star Trek, that is just action; that is not Star Trek, in my opinion. That’s what makes it different than Star Wars, and I love Star Wars, but they can both coexist. And I love Tarantino’s work and the kind of films that he does. I am trying to have an open mind.”
He said that he would be open-minded toward the idea. He gave Quentin Tarantino credit as a fan and added that he would be curious to read a script to get a feel for the Pulp Fiction filmmaker’s vision. Despite Tarantino’s wishes to take on Star Trek, not much is known about it. The mystery of it seems to be uneasy for not just fans but also for Rod Roddenberry.
“I would be curious to read a script on his take. I do not think you could say we’re going to do a Reservoir Dogs Star Trek. I’ll be honest, that doesn’t work for me, but he is a fan, and I think as a fan, he probably understands to some degree that Star Trek has to have some of this messaging. I would be curious, and I would try to have an open mind, but I’m not sure what it would be. I am glad that people are willing to explore that at least.”
According to Mark L. Smith (The Revenant), the Quentin Tarantino take on Star Trek would be very gangster inspired. When he met the legendary filmmaker, they watched gangster movies and talked about ideas for the film. It would feature the classic characters that fans know, but it would certainly deliver something new for the franchise.
Star Trek has touched a more adult style with its cartoon Lower Decks, but a Quentin Tarantino script would still shake things up for what Gene Roddenberry laid out 55 years ago, which makes his son nervous. Quentin Tarantino confirmed to Empire in 2019 that there is a script, and it has plenty of swearing and his usual style to garner an R-rating.
Just as a possibly gangster-esque R-rated Star Trek movie would be new for fans, it would be new for the Reservoir Dogs director too. He has done Westerns and gangster movies, but his range of genres has not launched into a galactic story with aliens and laser guns. It would be interesting to see how he tackles sci-fi, especially under the lens of a beloved franchise with iconic characters that have been in the public eye for over 50 years. In a universe this massive, the foundation is big enough to do something brand new that sticks with the heart of Star Trek.
Paramount is quite busy with Star Trek. It has been full-steam ahead on developing TV shows for its streaming service, Paramount+. It has led to some experiments to take place with the raunchy Lower Decks, the family-friendly Prodigy, and plenty of live-action series like Picard, Discovery, and 2022’s prequel series Strange New Worlds under the current franchise architect, Alex Kurtzman.