Quentin Tarantino May Or May Not Direct The Star Trek Film He Pitched

Quentin Tarantino has been out doing press for the home video release of his love letter to 1960s Los Angeles, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Naturally, the Star Trek script idea he pitched to Bad Robot back in late 2017 has come up during those interviews. Folks who know Tarantino also know he’s a bit of a stream of consciousness talker and goes back and forth on all kinds of ideas. For example, last week he was also tossing around the idea of doing a Kill Bill: Volume 3.

With that, it shouldn’t really be surprising that the same week he told Consequence of Sound he was “steering away” from the Trek project, he softened his stance a couple of days later while speaking to Mike Fleming Jr. of Deadline:

“I might be steering away from it, but we’ll see, I haven’t completely decided, or talked to anyone involved. Nothing is official.”

Tarantino’s Trek

It was never clear if the famous director was going to helm the movie. All that was certain was that Tarantino had a story idea he was excited about, which he pitched to J.J. Abrams at Bad Robot, who then hired writer Mark L. Smith to flesh out into a proper script. Deadline also reports that Smith (and presumably the folks at Bad Robot and Paramount) are happy with the script and it would be a good “gift” for another director if Tarantino ultimately passes on it.

Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams at a GQ event in 2017

What’s next?

Tarantino still needs to make a decision about directing his Trek script. The industry pundits expect him to turn his attention to this once the awards push for Once Upon A Time… winds down in early 2020.

If he decides to pass, it would not be the first time Tarantino has backed a project but not directed it. Presumably, he’d get a “story by” (or similar) credit, and might still want to be involved as a producer, so the Tarantino influence will likely still be apparent.

It’s also a film that executives at Paramount have been quite bullish on, bringing it up a few times throughout the last year, so it seems like even without Tarantino directing there’s still likely to be support for the film inside Paramount.

NOTE: Last month’s news about Paramount and Noah Hawley restarting efforts on a fourth Kelvin movie shouldn’t impact this film, as it was always a separate project.

Keep up with all the news on the upcoming Star Trek movies at TrekMovie.com.

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Conclusion: Who Knows?

On another note, I think everyone who was ageist JJ trek may have been wrong
he successfully destroy Star Wars while keeping Star Trek alive and well.

You may not have liked his alternate timeline concept, but that was mostly due to the agreement between Paraount & CBS, but he did show great respect to the original timeline and honored it more so then what Disney wanted for their new Star Wars purchase.
No doubt that SW will achieve great dollar numbers but in the end it was a story that should have ended a long long long long long long time ago.

Better conclusion is that it’s a negotiating tactic with Paramount/CBS over things like compensation and artistic freedom.

That was my reaction as well River Temarc.

Tarantino may not like having to have his project fit in with an overall branding strategy for Trek, or be told it can’t be canon in the Prime Universe.

If the Paramount executives really were that keen on his project, he might believe that threatening to walk in a public venue is a good way to demonstrate bargaining power.

or QT is just not a ‘gun for hire’ as with danny boyle dropping out of doing a bond film.

JJ’s problem is that he is a terrible writer who prefers to regurgitate ideas instead of working to come up with new ones. The Force Awakens was an inferior remake of A New Hope and by all accounts The Rise of Skywalker riffs heavily on Return of the Jedi. He is notorious for lifting ideas and whole scenes from prior movies and just cutting and pasting them into new ones. Even his two Star Trek outings were both pretty much Wrath of Khan knockoffs.

As for Tarantino, I’ve never been a fan of any of his work and I cringe at the thought of his adapting Trek to his sensibilities. Personally, the further away from Star Trek he stays, the happier I’ll be.

The most successful writer producer working today–entrusted with Star Trek, Star Wars, and shortly Superman. But sure, TonyD has it all figured out.

Jefferies Tuber,

But one should remember that his 1st Superman project proposal was so thoroughly rejected it took him a couple of decades to loose that stench before getting another shot.

In Hollywood success and talent rarely go together.

You didn’t see Star Trek Into Darkness did you? Also, don’t see any ST movies on the schedule.

Wow. I saw The Rise of Skywalker. If this is what he does to a franchise he loves….

I cant do this anymore. how many times is the carpet going to get pulled out from us.. smh

Except there was never a carpet to begin with. Just some talk about getting a carpet.

Trekmovie is literally the only sane and reliable source of news for Star Trek.

Well, considering that “may or may not” covers every possibility… ;)

Maybe he’ll only direct segments shot on a Tuesday.

Well, the reviews are in and apparently the new Star Wars movie really stinks. Hey, with JJ Abrams at the helm, why am I not surprised? His days of quick-flash-edit style to make up for a weak storyline are OVER!

Not if the movie still makes ton of money. At the end of the day that’s all that matters but we’ll see what happens.

Harry, WB just handed him a cool half billion to crank out some more quick flash epics. He might be hanging around a while longer then you think.

That, and ROS reviews seem mixed, at best. It’ll still make 1.25 billion at a minimum.

Phil, that’s a fair point. However, money is one thing, talent quite another. They say Hollywood is where Art meets Commerce. Too bad Art left town 10 years ago.

I don’t necessarily disagree with you about the creative state of affairs in the entertainment industry these days. For the last decade the only thing that seems to make money wears capes or flying armor, and every single one of these epics tells the exact same story. I wouldn’t care except they’ve managed to suck all the
creative oxygen out of the studios.


Re: exact same story

For me, it’s no longer just that, but that they’ve expanded to taking 3 plus hours and TWO movies to do it

Harry Ballz,

But when you have 2 stinkers, CATS & ROS, essentially released simultaneously doesn’t the mean girls’ logic of the stinkier one making the other look good come into play?

There are some reports that the film may not reach the $billion mark. Opening weekend was some $60 million below TLJ. The real tell will be what the drop off will be next week.

JJ is an uber hack. The sooner he’s rumbled the better.

Harry Ballz,

But which OF the 2 stinkers released, CATS or SW:ROS, is so stinky it elevates the other in comparison?

I’ve not seen Knives Out or 1917 yet. Also, if the granddaughters are here for the week, Frozen II will be mandatory….and apparently it isn’t bad animated date…

I Liked TROS.

I honestly don’t care who makes the next film, I just A. want another one before 2025 and B. that its good. I really don’t see Tarantino making one and let’s be honest the few times he talked about it, he never sounded ecstatic about it and really confused on what it would even be since he doesn’t seem to understand how a multiverse works (and less of a reason why I’m not bothered if he didn’t do it). Either way, it sounded more like a fun thing to do but not something he was truly excited to do either. And after these comments, even less so.

But regardless, Paramount needs to figure out what they want to do and just do it already. Hopefully it will work out with Noah Hawley if Tarantino really is out, but yes until there is REAL movement like an approved script and budget who knows? Thankfully we have the TV side in full swing again. If we just spent the last three years waiting on another movie, and nothing else, it would’ve been a very frustrating time.


I would remind you that with VIACOMCBS that we can consider Paramount has been, or shortly will effectively be, rebooted yet again and CBS has already made up its (Paramount’s) mind.

They may be separate projects, but they’ll very much influence each other. Paramount won’t want to release two Trek movies simultaneously, or even close to each other. It sounds like both films will use the Kelvin timeline crew, complicating things further. I’m putting my money on the Hawley film going first, and the Tarantino film going quite a bit later, or not at all. Perhaps adapted into something for All Access.

a QUESTION to all the trek fans, trek haters, trek fans/haters out there… without knowing what the plot is but knowing tarantinos style and aesthetic… who would be a fun fit to direct it?

I could suggest a terrible fit to direct it, since Guy Ritchie seems to try to do QT style but nearly always keeps missing the target.

i should have suggested someone good lol… like tony scott directed true romance… he didn’t have a tarntino style but it mostly works except the ending which is too tony scott… sort of meed someone who’s own style and tarantinos would mix well creating a big star trek baby

The only things I don’t like about TRUE ROMANCE are the Scott touches, especially the smokey cinematography. It still amazes me that I like any T. Scott films given the smoke levels, but I do love me TR, THE LAST BOY SCOUT and CRIMSON TIDE — saw them multiple times in theater. The rest, except for parts of THE HUNGER, can roast somewhere very warm.

Decades later, I still can’t understand how people can watch TOP GUN. I mean, IRON EAGLE actually KNEW it was a dumb movie, so I could accept it as a fun stupid flick (with an awesome Basil P. score) that is still seriously rewatchable (especially if you skip the first hour and go straight to when Gossett and Gedrick take off on their mission), but TOP GUN presents like something more than a jingoistic recruiting film, and that is all it has ever been to me. Plus I didn’t buy the main heterosexual love story at all. Matthew Modine turned it down on political grounds (assuming he was offered Kilmer’s part, but who knows?) and that is one call on his part that earned my respect.

hard to ignore top guns brilliance at appealing to america back then…i saw for first time recently and i couldnt get through it… i love cheezy but there’s no plot. the gay under overtones were nice though. love the hunger but it’s a definite un scott movie… more arthouse meets scott… im a big fan of beverly hills cop 2… it’s slick and fast and fun though also missing a big plot that winds down to nothing but a basic action scene like in true romance… and it’s too short. he definitely had a skill… slick fast action big movies… needs a good script though. unstoppable was actually pretty good one of his last ones. sort of went under the radar. sad when/how he died.

Robert Rodriguez or Peter Thorwarth if the next Star Trek movie takes place in Unna.


was always a QT pipe dream, like his wanting to do ‘casino royale’ with brosnan as 007.

If the Bond people had any genuine respect for the source material, they’d have eaten his CR up and done it just as he wanted, lean and mean for 40 mil — the return on that small investment would have been quick and huge. Then they still could have gone ahead and rebooted afterward with Mr Ugly.

Not seeing QT’s CR (which I kind of think of as MY version of CR, because I think Tarantino knows that novel as well as I do) is as big a bummer as the Craig casting for me, but hey, I haven’t been blown away by a Bond movie since 1989, so expectations should be at (double) zero.

Maybe Paramount will “gift” the movie to JJ Abrams, the worst director and biggest blight on cinema in the history of the art form.

Come on, Cyg, tell us how you really feel….

He’s telling you pretty much how I feel, that’s for sure.
SUPER8 and his trek films are for me pretty much unwatchable, and I couldn’t get into ALIAS or LOST either. TFA is something I can watch every couple of years, probably because I’m not a hardcore SW devotee, but honestly, I don’t understand his appeal at all.


Yes, I this point I don’t care anymore! The Picard show looks fantastic! If that is the only good Star Trek we have coming up, I’ll be satisfied. I don’t need this QT Star Trek. At all. I would, however, enjoy a good Pike show!

I feel much the same way VZX.

Picard looks to be the show to respond to pent up demand for new Trek. If Rod Roddenberry is correct that a Pike show is in early development behind the scenes, it sounds as though the TOS niche will be covered too.

We’re seeing high quality vfx and extended storylines with streaming. Kurtzman has said that one really needs to think about what a cinematic feature can offer in terms of a Star Trek story that streaming can’t. This makes a lot of sense to me.

That said, the Paramount side seems to need another franchise that’s not centered on Tom Cruise (MI and now Top Gun). Baklish is talking to ViacomCBS investors about Trek films so regardless of whether Trek makes a lot of sense as a cinematic feature, they seem to be committed to being in that space.

Perhaps SW’s greater success with the Mandalorian than the new JJ movie, might get them to rethink which is the premiere medium for the franchise.

In any event, I suspect we’ll be getting an IMAX delivered Paramount Trek spectacle at some point, character-driven Trek history of success notwithstanding.

It’s not gonna happen.

I think after the last movie with sj Clarkson and hemsworth fell apart they just decided to let tarantino say whatever he wanted to cover for their franchise being in a rut. Now that things are getting back on track, Tarantino is backing off.

A random idea I had… convert Short Treks into a “laboratory” where different filmmakers can experiment. Have Tarantino do one of those. Then if it proves popular, make the full movie.

It would be a real shame not to see QT’s take on NuTrek after all, if only for the reason he is still one of the voices of sanity that dares to defy the Cult and make movies, not political propaganda vehicles disguised as a higher artform (though as of yesterday JJ at least gets some points for outing himself as a moderate in the “Wars”)

I just took a look at the box office for QT’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 370MM on a 90MM budget. There’s no universe where he makes a Trek move for 90MM. It’s dead, Jim. Time to stop talking about it.

“This Article May or May Not Have New Information.” Slow day in the newsroom. So someone may or may not do something. Got it.