Beyond ‘Beyond’: Will there be a Quentin Tarantino ‘Star Trek’ movie?
Buzz surrounding Quentin Tarantino and Star Trek has been circulating since 2017 and what a glorious pairing that would be. Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) is a true Trekkie, loving the original TV version with Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) at the helm.
Star Trek fans have enthusiastically welcomed Tarantino’s take on the classic sci-fi series, but it appears the director’s enthusiasm has waned. Tarantino promised his fans that he would make ten films before retiring, but after the release of film #9, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he is shifting away from warp speed.
Wait, what happened in 2017?
All the way back in 2017, the NE Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons in the Superbowl, and Tarantino decided he had a Star Trek pitch.
Word traveled fast regarding Tarantino’s Star Trek pitch, as he shared his idea with J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker). The initial plan was for Tarantino to direct, and Abrams to produce a new film in the science-fiction franchise. Writer Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) was quickly announced to be taking the lead on the screenplay.
J.J. Abrams is no stranger to the Star Trek franchise. He rebooted the classic TV series with 2009’s Star Trek as well as 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. While Abrams is still a producer for the franchise, his focus is currently on the other epic sci-fi juggernaut, Star Wars.
So when will we see a Tarantino Star Trek film?
That’s the question everyone’s been asking. During the press tour this past summer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, all things Star Trek were on course for Tarantino. However, in a recent interview with Consequence of Sound, the director had this to say about the project:
“I think I’m steering away from Star Trek, but I haven’t had an official conversation with those guys yet. In a strange way, it seems like this movie [Once Upon a Time in Hollywood] would be my last. So, I’ve kind of taken the pressure off myself to make that last big voilà kind of statement.”
So that’s it? The door is closed?
Not necessarily. Just as soon as the rumors about Tarantino “steering away” from Star Trek hit the rumor mill, there was a slight backstep, Tarantino clarified, “I might be steering away from it, but we’ll see,” he said. “I haven’t completely decided, or talked to anyone involved. Nothing is official.”
While Tarantino might not be ready to close the door just yet, he is definitely making it sound like Star Trek is not where he wants to wrap up his 10 movie career. Tarantino makes it clear that he feels Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was his big final film, and he would prefer to take things down a notch for his final movie.
“Look, I might come up with a really big idea,” Tarantino told Consequences of Sound. “But right now, the idea of a smaller audience almost all the way around is appealing to me.”
Why we’re still rooting for a Tarantino Star Trek film
If there’s anything Tarantino does well, it’s putting his mark on a story, and breaking boundaries. Star Trek has found itself in a been-there, done-that place, which shouldn’t be surprising since it began in 1966.
The Star Trek of Tarantino’s vision was already going to break the mold, as it was undoubtedly a rated-R movie. It’s Tarantino after all. However, the franchise has always trended towards family-friendly, never breaking past a PG-13 rating. While not all fans were enthusiastic about the shift, there is definitely a market for a more mature version of the sci-fi franchise.
It was a definite surprise that Quentin Tarantino was ready to take on Star Trek in the first place. However, his version sounded fun, and fresh, even while he reportedly was planning on taking the franchise all the way back to the original series, despite keeping some elements of the recent reboot.
Where does the Tarantino Star Trek film stand now?
There is definitely a Star Trek script, written for and approved by Tarantino, who has promised “Pulp Fiction in space”. Seriously.
The “Pulp Fiction-y aspect” wasn’t limited to Tarantino’s directing style. When discussing the script, the director raved, “I have never read a science fiction movie that has this shit in it, ever. There’s no science fiction movie that has this in it. And they said, I know, that’s why we want to make it. It’s, at the very least, unique in that regard.”
Although it’s unlikely we’ll get the full Tarantino experience in Star Trek form, it sounds like the director who takes on this script from the sci-fi franchise is in for a treat.