Star Trek has always managed to stay within the realm of PG-13 or PG as far as the feature films in the franchise are concerned. However, a new report from insider Daniel Richtman (via We Got This Covered) says that Paramount is now looking at developing new movies for the series that will lean into elements that will make them R-rated.
Part of this has to do with the still-in-play Quentin Tarantino script for a 1930s gangster movie with the Star Trek characters. Apparently, that script would be R-rated and it seems to be the only current script that is still in development. However, Richtman also claims that Paramount there are “multiple R-rated Star Trek movies” being worked on. Richtman does not offer any other information about these other supposed movies, so we don’t have anything else to go on as far as those are concerned.
The franchise has been leaning into more mature material in their most recent shows. Both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard have integrated elements of vulgar language and extreme violence into their recent episodes in a way that is more extreme than what we are used to in the franchise. Whether or not those elements have been well-received is a subject of debate, but it is startling to see the series lean into those harsher facets. Would making those choices in a feature film be striking enough to interest audiences?
To be fair, this decision could be motivated by how Paramount perceives the success of other R-rated popular blockbusters. Over the last few years, we have seen movies like Logan, Deadpool, and Joker go full R-rated and be rewarded for that decision. Whether or not the fact that they are R-rated was a big factor in getting audiences in seats is unclear, but maybe Star Trek would be able to stimulate curiosity with something like an R-rated gimmick. The franchise is clearly on the decline as far as box office interest. Would this get people back on board?
There is certainly room in the franchise for more R-rated material, but it is also a somewhat short-sighted look at what the series needs to get people interested again. More than an R-rating, the next Star Trek feature film needs to offer audiences something they feel is fresh and invigorating. That is a big reason why movies like Logan, Deadpool, and Joker ended up performing so well. They offered viewers new approaches to the superhero genre that they felt they had not seen before. If going R-rated is a way to do that with the Star Trek franchise, then the subsequent movies still need to deliver something unique that gets people curious about the property again.
We will have to wait and see if this scoop ends up being true or not. We had confirmed our scoop that the Star Trek franchise was dead in the water when it came to the development of feature films. Perhaps things have changed over at Paramount and the gears are starting to turn once more. Only time will tell.