The last couple of days has seen a lot of news regarding the future of the Star Trek film franchise. On Wednesday at CinemaCon Paramount’s CEO Jim Gianopulos announced the studio has two Star Trek films in the works and yesterday it was reported that they were in talks with director S.J. Clarkson to helm a follow-up to Star Trek Beyond, which was originally announced in 2016. All reports agree that this ‘Star Trek 4’ follow-up to Beyond will continue the story of the Kelvin-universe crew, with the addition of Chris Hemsworth, returning to the franchise as George Kirk.
Tarantino Trek is “separate”
The second Star Trek project Gianopulos spoke of on Wednesday is the one that has actually been creating the most buzz in the last few months, following the late 2017 reports that Oscar-winning writer/director Quentin Tarantino pitched an idea for a Trek movie to producer J.J. Abrams. The latest reports say that script (being written by Mark L. Smith) is not finished, and any resulting film is expected to follow the ‘Star Trek 4’ film.
There are also a couple other tantalizing clues about that Tarantino Trek movie that got a bit lost in all the buzz yesterday. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Paramount is also developing a separate Star Trek movie that Quentin Tarantino would direct. The latter is understood to be set in a separate timeline.
And while there was little discussion of it in Variety’s exclusive yesterday, the reporter who wrote the story (Justin Kroll) followed up on Twitter to say Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek film is “still happening” and would come after the ‘Star Trek 4,’ project. He also stated the Tarantino film “would be seperate [sic] from Pine world and could essentially reboot new set of films.”
So for those asking, yes QT STAR TREK film still happening would happen after this latest film, would be seperate from Pine world and could essentially reboot new set of films.
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) April 26, 2018
Start of a new era?
If the reports are true, the Tarantino project could expand the (to coin a phrase) Star Trek Cinematic Universe, possibly establishing a new setting and crew or maybe the first in a new series of anthology movies. These new films could run in parallel with the Kelvin-verse cast films, or as a follow-up to a final Kelvin film. After three feature films spanning a decade – with the fourth yet to come – it seems reasonable for Paramount to consider how to wrap up the Kelvin movies while keeping the franchise going, as it has been since 1979. It may be that Paramount is finally catching up to other studios, and planning more than one film ahead when it comes to their big franchises. In fact, the studio has already started to do this with regards to their Hasbro partnership.
Even if the Tarantino project is something different, and even if it does set up a new wave of future films, it is still possible it could include some of the Kelvin movies cast. Both 1994’s Star Trek: Generations and 2009’s Star Trek reset the film franchise with new crews, but also involved actors from previous Star Trek features as a form of hand-off.
Over the last few months, Kelvin-verse actors John Cho, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg have all talked about the possibility of appearing in the Tarantino-inspired Star Trek film. Pegg even noted that after Tarantino’s pitch, producer J.J. Abrams reached out to the cast, saying:
“We all got this email the other day from J. J. Abrams just sort of saying, ‘um, oh guys, Quentin Tarantino came in the office and pitched this and we’re gonna think about it.’”
Star Trek vets ready for Tarantino’s “wild” idea
There remains no actual story details about the Tarantino pitch. The only clues may be from a 2015 interview Tarantino did with the Nerdist podcast, where he speculated that some classic Trek episodes could make for good feature films. The two examples he cited were the TOS episode “City on the Edge of Forever” and the TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” Both of those of course involve history changing through time travel.
If time travel is involved, then pretty much any era is on the table, and the Kelvin cast aren’t the only Star Trek actors who have expressed an interest. Both Sir Patrick Stewart and William Shatner have said they would return to Trek for Tarantino. And recently at a con, TNG actor and director Jonathan Frakes revealed he reached out to J.J. Abrams to ask him about the Tarantino project, saying:
I asked [J.J. Abrams] if it is real and so far it is real because they put a writer’s room together and he said “Quentin said it is going to be wild.”
For now, the only thing that seems close to certain is that the Tarantino Star Trek project is something for further in the future. Not only is the script reportedly not ready, but if Tarantino is interested in directing, then he couldn’t really start on the project until he completed work on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is set to be released in the summer of 2019.
To keep up with all news about the future of the Trek film franchise, check out the TrekMovie Upcoming Movies category.