Starting in late 2017, buzz began for a Star Trek movie in development based on a pitch from Quentin Tarantino. Paramount was excited about the idea and Trek vets from Patrick Stewart to William Shatner were expressing their hopes to be part of it. But by early 2020, the idea seemed to be losing steam as Tarantino indicated he likely wouldn’t be signing on to direct it, leaving it another unproduced—yet fascinating—Star Trek project.
Only a few details on the film have come out, but screenwriter Mark. L. Smith, who wrote the script with Tarantino, revealed a lot more in a podcast released earlier this year that had escaped our attention—until now.
Gangsters and time travel
It was a bit of a surprise when The Revenant screenwriter Mark. L Smith was tapped to pen the screenplay for Tarantino’s Trek pitch. He wasn’t known for science fiction and had never worked with Tarantino, who tends to write his own movies himself. As a guest on an April episode of the Bulletproof Screenwriting podcast, Smith explained how it all came together, and in so doing also confirmed a rumored plot connection to classic Star Trek:
It was through J.J. Abrams, through Bad Robot. I’ve done a few things with them. And so they always bring me stuff… But Tarantino, he wanted to do this. And so we all gathered in a room and we talked about the ways in. After that, they just called me and said, “Hey, are you up for it? Do you want to go? Quentin wants to hook up.” And I said, “Yeah.” And that was the first day I met Quentin, in the room and he’s reading a scene that he wrote and it was this awesome cool gangster scene, and he’s acting it out and back and forth. I told him, I was so mad I didn’t record it on my phone. It would be so valuable. It was amazing. Then just we started working. I would go hang out at his house one night and we would watch old gangster films. We were there for hours… We were just kicking back watching gangster films, laughing at the bad dialogue, but talking about how it would bleed into what we wanted to do.
This comment about a gangster connection appears to confirm that Tarantino’s idea is tied to the classic Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action,” which featured the USS Enterprise visiting a planet of aliens who had formed their society around Chicago gangsters.
Smith had previously confirmed that Kirk would be in the film, but during the podcast he indicated that it would include additional familiar characters but the movie would not necessarily connect with the Star Trek universe.
Kirk’s in it, we’ve got him. All the characters are there. It would be those guys. I guess you would look at it like all the episodes of the show didn’t really connect. So this would be almost its own episode. A very cool episode. There’s a little time travel stuff going on. There’s all this other… it’s really wild.
There’s still a chance
Quentin Tarantino has said for years that he plans to direct only ten films; after the release of his ninth film in 2019 (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), he said he was “steering away” from the Star Trek project. Since that time, Paramount has moved on with a Star Trek movie planned for Summer 2023 to be directed by WandaVision’s Matt Shakman, based on a script co-written by Captain Marvel‘s Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Paramount and J.J. Abrams have also commissioned a script from Discovery writer Kalinda Vazquez.
But Smith has not given up hope for his Star Trek movie and says it all comes down to Tarantino, revealing a loophole for his ten-movie limit:
I give it a ten percent chance if ever gets made. It’s one of those things that’s so tricky for him to do, but if he really wants to. He’s got this set limit he puts on. He’ll tell me, “Well, I can say it’s not an original, so it won’t count against my ten.” I would love for to happen. My god, I would be thrilled for it to happen… Fingers crossed that he will get so bored that he’s going to do it.
Having Quentin Tarantino make an R-rated Star Trek movie that may not exactly fit in with the rest of the movies may seem like an unusual choice for Paramount, and Smith agreed, but he pointed out that Tarantino is a unique filmmaker that can make the studio open to doing something different:
Guys like Quentin can do stuff that the rest of us can’t. So they are going to trust him because they know what they’re going to get is going to be something that’s going to be talked about for years. And it was. The script, it is so Tarantino, and it’s hard-R [rated] and it’s violent. It’s got all these great elements. And I guess Paramount has done different things and kind of veered back on Star Trek. They probably feel like Tarantino is worth being able to veer off path and always come back.
Tarantino’s unique take, and handling the sci-fi
The Bulletproof Screenwriting podcast is focused on the craft of writing, and at another point in the pod Smith talked about writing dialogue that avoids too much exposition and used his collaboration with Tarantino as an example:
So [Quentin] and I are working on [Star Trek] together and he’s writing this dialogue scene that I’ve written. And when he writes it, it’s like, “Oh, my god!” I thought I didn’t want to be straightforward with anything, so I’m kind of flowing over here. And then he does this thing, which is now five pages longer than my scene was, and he’s going all out over here and he’s touching on stuff that’s way over here, and then he comes back over. And it was just beautiful. It was just so wonderful and so funny. Again, you are talking about somebody that just sees stuff not like normal humans. And I say that with reverence. He’s really good at not just being straightforward with anything. That to me is it. You want to take your time. Don’t rush to feed information. Don’t just deliver information through exposition. You want to have conversations and just let the stuff come out in conversation.
Smith also revealed that Tarantino was in charge of the sci-fi elements:
I’ve always kind of stayed away from sci-fi. I don’t love writing technology. I’ve always found if I bring it into story, I use it as a cheat. I want people to have to deal with their own emotions and their own conflicts and their own stuff and I don’t want to have to be able to use technology to get in and out of stuff. I know other great writers smarter than me can use it well. Like even on Star Trek, whenever I told Quentin, I’m not a Star Trek guy, I’m not a big sci-fi guy. I know the characters and I like the relationships and I know about it. But he goes, “Don’t worry about that. I’ll take care of all the big sci-fi stuff and everything.” So you kind of just find what you know and write what you know.
For now, Tarantino’s Star Trek can be filed with other unproduced Star Trek projects, as it seems unlikely Paramount would move forward without him agreeing to direct. But there does seem to be a chance it can be made, even with Tarantino’s self-imposed ten-movie limit. And doing a movie that may not fit with the other Star Trek films being developed by Paramount can still work. Warner Bros. has had success with this approach for their DC movies, like Joker. After Paramount gets the franchise going again in 2023, it’s possible for one-off stand-alone movies to be part of the mix.
Check out bulletproofscreenwriting.tv for the full interview.
Find more news and analysis on upcoming Star Trek feature films.
Still not sure it’s a good idea, but boy would I love to see it.
I’m with you on that, BB!
So Tarantino was going to just make a Tarantino movie? That doesn’t actually sound that terrible. Trek needs some new plots that aren’t the same old revenge stories and trying something new with an established director would be a nice way to do that. Trek has always touched on a lot of things with plots and unconnected episode movies would be a nice change.
QT Trek might be better suited in the Mirror Universe, given what was said in this interview. That’s not something I’d be all that interested in seeing more of, personally.
New plots? He was doing gangsters (“A Piece of the Action”) and time travel (which has been in four of the thirteen films and DOZENS of episodes). What would have been new about it?
Quentin Tarantino, the Godfather of Bad Taste, the King of Cynicism…When the Zhad’Vash looked into the Admonition, they must have gazed upon a compilation of Tarantino’s bloodiest scenes before killing themselves…
Agreed. That menace of a filmmaker is highly influential. Without his pioneer work I would have never been forced to watch the two Deadpools or The Suicide Squad. The Boys wouldn’t exist. The genre would be void of all that meaningless bloodshed for entertainment purposes disguised as “mature content”.
This is the guy who recently stated he’d be fine with his son watching Kill Bill at the the age of 5 if he wanted to.
QT is also a victim of his own consumation of bloody grindhouse flicks in his childhood. He spent hours and hours in backyard cinemas self-poisoning his mind with all that grizzly violence, mistaking it for high culture worthy of being emulated and brought into the mainstream.
And this is what he lived up to. He used his tremendous talent to turn something utterly niche into mainstream entertainment, poisoning the creative well for generations to come.
If he ever took on my beloved Trek franchise, it would be the darkest day and the longest night…
Can’t say I disagree with this assessment.
Not everyone can be as brilliant as Alex Kurtzman. Give QT a break.
Gee, whatever was I thinking? Gangsters in Space would be a great treatment for Trek.
Yeah, the Tarrantino aesthetic sounds like a really bad fit for Star Trek.
“Let’s make Star Trek super violent and nasty!” Please, don’t. PLEASE, DONT!
Have you seen the first season of Discovery? Way too much gore for me.
The eyeball scene in Picard was a serious low point for the franchise. Totally gruesome and unnecessary!
Thank you and yes…
Don’t you guys watch horror movies? I laughed when I saw that eyeball.
Uh, blood and guts were mainstream long before Tarantino came along.
I’ve never been a fan of Tarantino’s films. I think he’s far too convinced of his own brilliance. So I am glad he won’t be doing Star Trek.
Wait up. Did QT kill someone? Did he rape anyone? Or maybe he stole something? Does he litter in the street? Can you be please more specific about what you mean when writing about QT having “poisoned mind”? To my knowledge he didn’t do any of the abovementioned things, he didn’t hurt anyone. So how is his mind poisoned? What wrong resulted from him having watched violent movies on his childhood?
Are you aware of history of arts? Do you know the actual place of violence as estetic in cultural heritage of European, African, Australia, Asian and yes – American – culture? Let me give you a tip for free – it is huge. Violence in all its flavors was normal part of life be it animal or human alike. And since art imitates life – you got it!
Please note that you are not forced to consume art containing violence. Graphic violence was also part of Star Trek before QT picked his camera to film Reservoir Dogs. You don’t have to watch Star Trek, you know… You also can make informed choices while selecting your entertainment by using internet, which 90% time will give you answers on violence in movies, so that you can avoid it. Please do not presume this, apparently uninformed opinion of yours, is a valid diagnosis of the state of culture of the world.
Finally for the record – no, I don’t think it would be good Star Trek movie, if the same level of violence and cuss words, as in Pulp Fiction for example, was applied. We have had samples of that in Discovery and Picard, and I dispise it.
some OT eps were banned from broadcast in UK until the 90s because of violent scenes- ’empath’, ‘miri’, ‘whom gods destroy’
also Wrath of Khan (uncut) was rated ’15’ on vhs for years in uk. i remember being very impressed i owned a Star Trek movie with the same hardcore certificate as Blade Runner and T2
What hogwash. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is 158 minutes of dialogue and music and a couple minutes of violence. The film is mostly an affectionate look at a bygone era and a story of a close friendship between an actor and his stunt man. And 100% attributing The Suicide Squad-type stuff to Tarantino is laughable- he shares a common outlook and taste for black humor with his generational cohorts, which he himself admits. Or take Sam Raimi or the darker side of the Coen Bros, who predate Tarantino and are older than Gen X. I just as well might blame Raimi’s 1987 Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn for the downfall of civilization and bad, no-good taste. Or heck, why don’t you take a look at the films Peter Jackson made prior to Heavenly Creatures- he wasn’t subtle about it, he actually titled one of his films Bad Taste. Plenty of other examples of filmmakers rebelling against the blandness of 1980s movies and culture.
Oh and Garth, your “beloved Trek franchise” now includes close-ups of eyeballs being ripped out, gratuitous incest, gratuitous decapitations, plucky heroines casually disintegrating low-level foes, and awkward insertions of profanity- so maybe, a little perspective.
A little perspective? Right. All that stuff you mentioned – especially the Icheb scene and the profanity – are indeed elements I totally despise and I’ve said that time and again. But none of these issues would exist if people like Tarantino hadn’t popularized those elements, only to be emulated by other filmmakers, profoundly changing viewing habits along the way. I’m so bold to claim that the afore mentioned transgressions on Trek’s part are indeed indirectly influenced by Tarantino and others in his vein.
The PIC episode “Stardust City Rag” feels A LOT like something that Tarantino would do… So when you’re saying the damage is done, you are not entirely wrong about that.However, while there are some misguided moments on DSC and PIC and that particular PIC episode by Frakes, along with some questionable scenes on LDS, a mainstreaming cinematic outing by Tarantino would hardly go below the radar. If successful it would shape the overall image how Star Trek is perceived for years. If successful, this could become the new TWOK, a pattern to be emulated time and again in future Trek movies. We wouldn’t be getting rid of the R-Rating for decades!
I’m not saying that it was easy for me to digest “Stardust City Rag”… Had the world not gone into lockdown shortly after, had my mother not seriously gotten ill to eventually die a few weeks later, had I not been forced to move home, selling my childhood house, I probably wouldn’t have been able to repress my negative emotions regarding that episode for a certain time.I’m still angry at Frakes for doing it but it is only one brief moment in a vast universe. It was a final warning shot of what to expect if this slippery slope continues
And THIS is why I hope SNW will become more successful and popular than DSC and PIC combined. And if they want to bring in young kids via PROD, there has to be something to introduce them to. A franchise dominated by adult imagery is nothing kids need exposure to. PROD would be a dead end.
That is not to say that dark and dire issues shouldn’t be tackled by Trek at all. On the contrary. DS9 did a good job handling those topics without much graphic exposure. The Mandalorian does the same: the themes and issues are dark, sometimes bleak, but the visuals remain family-friendly. And that’s the way I was raised to accept. Guts, blood and brains however I cannot easily condone. .
Just dropping a line to say that we haven’t been able to get one of our teens to watch any new live-action Trek since they saw Stardust City Rag. More, the they rarely watch the classic library anymore.
It really poisoned the water for some viewers.
That can’t make sense as an investment decision.
Thank you. This is an enlightening detail you’ve shared with us. Some older kids seem to be still shying away from stuff like that. Intriguing. I constantly observe the opposite. Kids hanging out in GoT or TWD shirts, drawing Deadpool in arts lessons, talking about Chucky trailers and Freddy vs Jason. I guess it’s still a matter of personal taste and sensitivity and not just a generational shift in viewing habits.
That is both comforting and worrisome at the same time. Comforting because it shows that taste and decency may survive “The Purge”. Worrisome because it proves what I had been predicting some years ago: that Star Trek as a whole would be judged by its most brutish visual contents overshadowing its true nature. Sad.
I shudder to think of the Praxis-style explosion that would occur if they deigned to view episode two of MI-5.
Yeah. Because BREAKING BAD and THE SOPRANOS were thoroughly disastrous investment decisions for AMC and HBO.
TNG “Conspiracy” saw a guy’s innards being phasered out in 1987, a full five years before Tarantino penned RESERVOIR DOGS.
I don’t think his violent sensibility is a good fit for Trek, but I’m also screaming against the wind as it is – Discovery and Picard’s first seasons are far too grisly for my liking.
Rated-R language, sex and violence has its place, but I firmly-believe Star Trek should be a family-friendly franchise. There’s obviously PG-13 sex and violence from TWOK-Beyond, but nothing on the level we got once Kurtzman took over. It has since been toned down as far as Discovery is concerned, but the damage is done. Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Doctor Who all managed to reboot in a way that let grown up fans introduce their kids to something they loved and watch it together, setting those kids up to pay that love forward themselves. I think it was a missed opportunity to not make that easy for parents to do with the first two Kurtzman shows.
“I firmly-believe Star Trek should be a family-friendly franchise.”
And I totally second that. During DSC S1 and PIC S1 they tried to make a new kind of Trek to compete with GOT and TWD. The writers wore TWD shirts, named the sister ship Glen and intrduced the Shenzhu as Walker class. Well, they cast SMG directly out of TWD! They even talked about introducing the Borg with a rotten zombie vibe to them. It was abundantly clear what they were trying to do.
Things have gotten better a lot since those days. The last DSC episode that offended me was that Klingon episode in S2 with all that throat cutting and the severed baby head. But that was 900 years ago :-) I hope PIC will become less viceral and less offensive in language this season too.
R-Rated stuff does have its place but that place is NOT the Trek universe.
Kids nowadays are generally more desensitised to a lot of things and I think Trek’ is just reflecting the tastes of the today tbh. I think most kids over 9 or 10 would be able to watch Discovery without issue. Even if parents attempt to stop their kids watching something, these days it’s nearly impossible to do that. Many of them are more tech savvy than their own mums and dads. You can’t watch them 24/7. And if you try to stop them they just become more curious anyway. Star Trek as a franchise has generally followed the viewing trends over it’s history and that’s the case today too.
You’re completely right about everything you’re saying. Due to technological changes, youth protection cannot be applied the way it used to and thus kids are used to lots of stuff they officially aren’t allowed to see.
Back in the day, I was spooked out by the TOS salt vampire and those many faces behind the window on that overpopulated planet in The Mark of Gideon at the age of 13! I was so freaked out I had to close my eyes when the salt vampire reappeared in that niche in the Trelane episode! Can you believe it?
Now there are kids who have seen TWD or GOT at a much younger age. There are ten year-olds who identify Friday 13th (the day!) with Jason Vorheese.
And that gives me the creeps. I’ve been troubled by those thoughts for many many years now. But only recently I have discovered the potential reason for my ongoing concerns: as I most likely am a high functional autist, I’m having emotional troubles of epic proportion telling youth protection guidelines from morally binding laws.
As a teenager I must have learned that blood and gore is fordbidden and therefore evil and banned, and that emotional rejection still binds me on a subconscious level. While I’ve been watching hundreds of R-Rated movies and some TV shows for over two decades now, there has always been that remaining bit of bad conscience that constantly tells me not to enjoy stuff like that.
It’s like a kraken of the mind, a mindflayer that tells me to hate that stuff. And that emotion has exponentially gone through the roof as of 2017, when DSC started to infuse those elements into Star Trek.
Imagining kids watching that stuff makes me feel responsible, guilty, full of shame. I know how this sounds. It’s crazy from a neuronormative POV, but that’s just the way I react towards gory imagery in general and gore on Trek in particular. I feel so bad about it.
The only thing worse than that is uncensored copulation but don’t get me started on that topic…
The amount of pearl clutching being displayed by Garth Lorca and his compadres would be enough to fill Boston Harbor with oysters, should it come to that.
Star Wars had Episode III with Anakin Skywalker’s limbs all being cut off and burning in lava. Hardly the stuff for little kids. It was the first one to be rated PG-13. And all the Disney movies have been PG-13 since but none of them as vicious as the level of violence even in episode IV or V. Laser blasts don’t burn and there aren’t any limbs being cut off or beheadings like in Lucas Star Wars. Aunt Beru and Owen burning corpses in Star Wars, Luke’s hand being cut off in Empire etc. Anakin beheading Dooku in episode III and killing younglings even though the camera cuts away.
None of these Star Wars scenes come anywhere close to R-Rated stuff such as Deadpool or The Suicide Squad. No, not even Anakin’s lava scene. That scene may be shocking, but much more on an emotional level. Same with Beru and Owen… There have been multiple brutal scenes on the Mandalorian. On a content level, it is a dark and brute show.
But there is a huge difference. On DSC we got lots of digital blood spraying in several Klingon throat cutting scenes. There was a green-blooded head chopping moment on PIC. And of course Icheb. I’m tired of thinking of all those scemes in detail as I’ve made my peace with those. But I just don’t want any more of that stuff any time soon.
BTW: The camera doesn’t have to cut away. Not employing overdone fountains of galons of digital or artificial blood would already help a lot. It’s a stilistic device prominently used by the likes of Tarantino. He didn’t invent it. But he popularized it. And now it seems to be the gold standard of the “golden age of TV”, whatever that means. Don’t expect me to be grateful towards that person one bit…:-)
“I firmly-believe Star Trek should be a family-friendly franchise.”
I completely disagree.
‘ Deadpools or The Suicide Squad. The Boys wouldn’t exist.’
these were all comic books, not just movies.
But comic books need to be adapted. And if QT and others hadn’t paved the way for the R-Rated blockbuster and TV programs, those IPs would have remained securely locked in their niche comic books. Only now that blood, gore and nudity has become mainstream, those contents are turned into live-action moving pictures. That’s my point.
Dude there were tons of R rated violent mainstream movies before Tarantino showed up. The 80s is full of it. That’s where Sylvester Stallone and Schwarzenegger became big stars. Their movies in that decade was a lot of R rated high blood affair.
Could be a good idea but clearly Paramount want their traditional kelvin crew movie first!
Quentin’s movie could easily be made after that. The enterprise goes through a time distortion wave which takes them into an alternate reality changing all the characters into this fun but different story.
While the overall plot sounds intriguing, it doesn’t need to be R-rated. My wife and I recently watched The Suicide Squad which we really enjoyed, however she made a comment and I agree with her that that movie didn’t need to be R rated. The R rating for Suicide Squad is all in the language and violence. None of that stuff moves the story forward, and you can do violence without making it R-rated. Every other word it seemed in that movie was an F-bomb. My wife commented that it was really lazy writing and I agree. The writers used the R-rating as an excuse not to have to make actual, coherent dialogue and just drop F-bombs all the time.
If that is what Tarantino plans for Star Trek I don’t want it. Star Trek is NOT an a R-rated franchise. It has always been a family friendly franchise. I don’t want to have that tainted. Re-write your script as PG-13 dropping any unecessary R-rated elements that don’t move the story forward at all or don’t do it. F-bombs and gore is not nor should it ever be Star Trek. I will say that it sort of made sense in The Suicide Squad, but for us at least the most enjoyable parts of that movie had nothing to do with the R-rated aspects. The funnies jokes weren’t constant F-bombs being dropped or an intense amount of gore being shown.
Maybe we’re in the minority, I don’t know, but that’s how I feel about Tarantino Trek. I don’t want it if it’s going to look like The Suicide Squad in an R rating.
I’m not a huge QT fan, if you’re really into watching people getting dispatched in creative fashion, then so be it. A couple of observations:
It sounds like this was just going to be a gangster movie, except the costumes would be in primary colors. Gangster Trek.
Lets hope QT gets bored and make this movie? Does boredom produce good work?
The overall cringe-worthiness potential here is just off the charts. Imagine someone redoing Wizard of Oz, only Dorthey and her traveling companions are fighting for their lives as the flying monkeys pillage and rip apart anything on the Yellow Brick Road. In blood spurting, graphic detail. Poor Toto……yep, cringing again.
You didn’t watch Return to Oz did you? It was basically a darker, edgier Wizard of Oz. Obviously some people have a taste for the darker versions of the stories too.
Scary movie, but I don’t remember seeing entrails, the opening of major arteries, or beheadings…
Nope. I just looked it over. Doubt it would have been something I’d of been interested in at 22. Read over the plot, and whoever green lit it must have been having a ‘what were they thinking’ moment….
so it wouldve been time travel? – would we be looking at A Piece of the Edge of Forever? with De Niro as Bela and Pacino as Krako and Margot Robbie as Edith
Spock: Edith Keeler mustn’t just die, Jim. You have to strangle her to retore the timeline.
Jim: Me?? Can’t she just get run over by a truck?
Spock: It has to be in the throughs of passion. Edith Keeler must die.
Jim: Well, if you say so…I thought you said that homemade tricorder wasn’t good with detailed data?
Spock: This came through in precise detail. Fascinating….
Cut to QT’s hands strangling an orgasmic Margot Robbie. I smell an Oscar.
Please. No. I think that a QT Star Trek movie will be a terrible idea.
I’d be pissed if I paid to see a Star Trek movie and it turned out to be R-rated, graphic horror schlock.
If Paramount cared about Star Trek at all – and not just the Star Trek money – they’d have launched All Access with an anthology series like Star Trek New Voyages or Star Trek What If? (thank you Marvel). This is where this idea would do well as a 60-90 minute episode in a series like that… but that would require imagination and passion for Star Trek- and not the “let’s make their starship with a 4-story bridge with back-lighting by flaming torches” AND space travel by worm dust.
But, then, somebody would have to care about Star Trek at Paramount rather than offering Star Trek as a bed buddy for anyone that will have it to see if they can get it to stick to the cash cow of the month.
Let’s note that the podcast was recorded in April, and the Matt Shakman film was announced in July. Of course, lots can happen between an announcement and actual production, but if the chances were ten percent in April, they’re probably a lot lower now. As the article suggests, if it were to happen at all, it would probably be after the Shakman film in 2023.
Trek 23 isn’t nearly a lock at this point. This is starting to smell like the S.J.Clarkson announcements a few years back. Some behind the camera names being dropped, but little actual news on progress of work on the film.
Exactly where is the trade announcement the kelvin crew are all back onboard…probably the same hold up as before lack of $$$ for the actors!
Looking back on when principle photography occurred on Bad Robots previous Trek flicks. to meet this release date I’d expect principle photography probably in the first quarter of next year, allowing that more coronavirus variants and protocols are something any movie production will likely have to deal with. If we get through October of this year still under radio silence, this movie is in trouble.
they’ll probably be a 14th and a 15th Star Trek feature film. But the question is will a 4th Kelvin timeline movie happen. Its much more likely neither of the pictures being talked about have anything to do with the reboot series. All but one of the pitched films have had nothing to even remotely do with the KT. And the one that does is the unmade Kirk meets his daddy movie. The Pine/Hemsworth thing which hasn’t moved an inch since 2016. The Hawley stand alone and QT stand alone both of which have been shelved. Leaving the Shakman film, and the Kalinda Vazquez script which doesn’t have a director at the moment.
I’ve never said there would not be another film, the question was always ‘when’.
If it doesn’t get made I do hope that we still get to see it someday, in some form. Either a graphic novel adaptation, or audio play, or even an animated straight-to-stream movie.
I don’t mind humour in Star Trek, but “A Piece of the Action” was way over the top, bordering on Three Stooges slapstick. It sickens me that Tarantino wanted to riff off of that particular episode and do a gangsta Trek. It would end up being an ultra violent gangster film, with the name “Star Trek” slapped on it for marketing. Disgraceful!
Bad Trek writing tended to fall in two categories: the ordinary clunker episodes (Spock’s Brain, Turnabout Intruder), but episodes like Piece of the Action or Patterns of Force tended to show sympathy towards failed governance, be it gangsters or fascism. I know people like to hate on Emperor Georgio, overlooking that John Gill, a 23rd century Starfleet instructor, had enough sympathies for the “efficiencies” of fascism that he took it upon himself to give it a go on an alien world? Not a good look for a utopian future, I’m afraid.
Sympathy? I thought they were demonstrating how wrongheaded it would be to base a society on nostalgia for earlier eras. Bread and Circuses also sort of falls into this category, with Merrick embracing the Roman way of life and learning the hard way how wrong he is.
If, as a society, you had fascism three hundred years in the rear view mirror, how do you produce a highly regarded educator who sees it as “efficient”, to the point he was willing to introduce it to an alien world to better themselves?? That’s a mighty ugly weed to be growing in the UFP garden of a society that supposedly had solved all it’s societal problems. The fatal flaw in this story writing is that a John Gill type should never ever have considered fascism, even a sanitized version of it, as a solution to anything, instead of the “guess I messed up” story it was.
He shouldn’t have thought that, but it’s a sad fact that people must relearn these lessons again and again throughout history. I was just reading yesterday of a poll from a couple years ago about how 75% of Russians think the Soviet Union was the best time in their country’s history. Oh comrades, please.
One thing I like about TOS (and DS9 for that matter) is their willingness to say, yes, we’ve improved greatly, but there is always the risk of us backsliding.
Although, I should add that TNG did this on occasion too with characters like Admiral Satie, Admiral Pressman, etc.
I’m not one of those individuals who believes that past Trek represented the pinnacle of quality television writing…or production continuity, for that matter. While we’re picking on TNG, one of the few speeches Riker got to deliver early on has him going on that the Federation would rather perish, perish I say, rather then violate the Prime Directive. Then Picard and crew flew off to spend seven seasons violating the Prime Directive in grand Kirk style fashion.
I’m not one of those individuals who believes that past Trek represented the pinnacle of quality television writing…or production continuity, for that matter.
Okay, well, I said nothing about them being a pinnacle or anything. I’m just pointing out one aspect of those shows I did like.
No, but others have, and as other characters you had mentioned were also products of writing decisions (among others), it seemed an appropriate observation to the thread as a whole. Peace.
‘I give it a ten percent chance if ever gets made.”
I’m really hoping it’s far far less.
Understanding never say never, 0.01% is something I’m comfortable with.
Sounds like another excuse for quentin to go back and watch his old movie collection again.
A couple of years ago, I would have said I would have preferred Guy Ritchies’ “Star Trek” to Quentin Tarantinos, but after the way “The Gentlemen” turned out, maybe not.
Still, maybe “Lock, Stock & Two Warping Nacelles” with Captain Statham and First Officer Fat Tom wouldn’t be the worst idea.
What is it with star trek fans wrapping the franchise up in cotton wool? “We don’t want violence, we don’t want this I want it this way, should be genes vision zzzz” etc. Let it thrive! Dare to take risks, sometimes it works (lower decks) sometimes it doesn’t (discovery). It’s art, it’s subjective, I for one would love to see his spin on it. Not like he’s messing up timelines and characters and canon as well
But that’s the thing, this idea isn’t really ‘thriving’ though. It just sounds like turning an OK episode from 50 years ago into a movie…just with more blood in it. That just sounds like something you can do on an episode of Discovery (it actually would be fun to see how that planet changed in the last 900 years now thinking about it). But when you only make a movie every 3-5 years it would be nice if you came up with an original story instead of just regurgitating someone else’s work, only with a different angle. That was a big reason why STID got the reception it did.
Wish the TNG writers could of got to do their sequel to A Piece of the Action. The citizens all walking around in TOS uniforms.
I’d expect Section 31 to be violent. Like it or not, sometimes there’s dirty work to be done, even in the Trek universe. A stand alone project that fleshes out why the Klingons had such a fearsome reputation in the Federation would likely require a few cut throats by a running Klingon. The Andorian’s seem to be a passionate rate, lets take a look at that. A Worf comedy is definitely taking a risk.
This article confirms that all QT wanted to do was make a gangster movie with Star Trek characters. Nothing deeper then that. QT’s gangster movies don’t even fall into the “shoot first and ask questions later” genre, it’s just all “shoot first”. If that’s your thing, great, but there’s no real “spin” to be seen here.
“I’d expect Section 31 to be violent. Like it or not, sometimes there’s dirty work to be done, even in the Trek universe.”
Yeah, and that dirty work that has to be done is all fine with me (if there are some moral limitations to the main characters’ actions). There is absolutely nothing wrong with gangster stuff, covert operations gone wrong etc. as depicted in the Mandalorian.
That show produces piles of bodies along its adventurous path. And I am totally fine with that (minus Grogu eating sentient frog eggs that is). But thanks to Disney, there is a healthy self-censorship in place. It remains a visually family-friendly affair.
And those boundaries are important to me. “White House Down” vs “Olympus Has Fallen”… Both tell the same story. The first one is Star Trek material, the second one has its merits but it shouldn’t be part of any pre-established PG-13 franchise.
The first one is Star Trek material, the second one has its merits but it shouldn’t be part of any pre-established PG-13 franchise.
Are you deliberately ignoring “Conspiracy”? “The Siege of AR-447” (or whatever it was called)?
I agree it should be allowed to thrive, and one way to do that is to move beyond the nostalgia and iconography of TOS and TNG.
Speaking of TNG, remember their first episode after the pilot was a clumsy remake of The Naked Time. Trying to redo TOS didn’t quite work for that series, did it?
Troi was ilia, Riker was Decker, and Data was another Questor/Spock. Who ever said TNG was original? Encounter at farpoint is incredibly derivative even down to Q.
Yes, and when did TNG finally move out from under the shadow of its predecessors? It probably wasn’t going to happen if instead of Best of Both Worlds they remade, I dunno, Doomsday Machine or something.
It’s not a question of pure originality (which rarely if ever exists), it’s about taking some risks and trying to create a bigger universe instead of cashing royalty checks from those things you know.
Sometimes it doesn’t work, like with the Ferengi, but sometimes it does, like with the Borg and later the Cardassians.
I have to ask… Does anyone really want a movie-length R-rated version of “A Piece of the Action”?
Man… we really dodged a bullet on this one. Another gangster story, which means yet another movie retreading old ground, written by a guy who isn’t a Star Trek fan and directed by a guy who (as we know from other interviews) didn’t even understand that Pine, Quinto, etc., were playing characters in another universe–he thought they were the original characters. All combined, it would have been a recipe for disaster. I’m relieved it didn’t happen.
Plus… time travel? Four of the 13 movies so far (IV, Generations, First Contact, and 2009) utilize time travel, for crying out loud. This would have been a very derivative and unoriginal movie, it seems.
The more I hear about the movie, the less I like it. It sounds more like Tarantino bending Star Trek to his egotistical will, than Star Trek with a Tarantino slant to it. I would not want “more of the same” Tarantino.
On the other hand, if you were really truly depicting Kirk interacting with real gangsters, I would in reality expect a lot more violence than “A Piece of the Action.” Sanitized violence to me is a lot more troubling than just showing the gory reality of it. Imagine if Tarantino did a Klingon battle scene with Bat’leths. There would be blood and limbs flying everywhere. But that’s probably what it would really be like to face down a Klingon with a Bat’leth!
Re: “Sanitized violence to me is a lot more troubling than just showing the gory reality of it.”
Agreed. Besides, the lack of accurate machine gun blood spatter doesn’t make the possibility of the use of a weapon of mass destruction in the episode any less horrifying.
The most horrifying weapons in the episode are the bloodless ship’s phasers aimed at Iotians in a citywide block on the planet’s surface. If set to kill a hundred Iotians instantly and irretrievably vaporized, leaving absolutely nothing behind for possibly a thousand loved ones and relatives to ever figure out what became of the disappeared.
For me, the thought of loved ones wasting their lives waiting for someone, that’ll never come, to someday walk through a door, or endlessly look for nonexistent evidence of what became of the vaporized, is as horrifying as the finality of vaporization death.
And if any witnesses, they’d probably form a cult, centered around the belief that The Feds beamed them up, and they’ll return someday.
I am also troubled by why, since Mr. Scott solved the problem of transporter pattern, buffer retention, 24th century hand phasers haven’t been abandoned for hand pattern buffer cages?
Bring it on, I say!
This is a no brainer…Any time a master filmmaker like Quentin Tarantino wants to make a film in the Star Trek universe, the correct response is to simply get out of the way and let him do his thing…It’s really that simple.
I so hope you’re wrong about that. QT isn’t all he’s cracked up to be
No it isn’t.
“Any time a master filmmaker like Quentin Tarantino”
To quote good old Obiwan: “Only a master of evil”
I can only imagine how crazy a Tarantino Star trek movie would be. Which characters/actors would be in it and how insipid the dialog would be. Star trek is already plenty cynical, why not add in narcissism, nihilism, murder and sex too.
Which circles back to the theme of the article. This was always going to be a gangster movie, with characters costumed in primary colors. Any resembelence to Star Trek ends there. For as many people who have commented on QT’s ‘spin’ on Trek, there was never going to be any for a gangster movie.
Not sure what to think of that. My first reaction is it doesn’t sound like something that could work. But I have to say I am NOT a fan of QT. Nothing he has done has been better than “meh” in my book. So there’s that.
On the other hand, I DO like the idea of doing something different. But as we know from the results from Secret Hideout, doing something different doesn’t mean it will be good. It’s a bit of a risk as a lot of fans don’t really want something different. It’s a tough line to walk.
There have been a few notable talents interested in making a Trek film, and that IS what Trek needs – new talent with a vision.Yet Paramount just can’t figure out what to do. So now we’ll probably get yet another action oriented flick about a character with a need for vengeance. And when it underperform’s, all the experts will point fingers.
I’m all for experimentation in trek. I’ve enjoyed short treks, JJ verse, Lower Decks and will love Prodigy. I will say some of the cursing and violence went a little too far in Picard and Disco. I’m just not interested in QT’s Star Trek. I’m not a fan of his work. I’m glad it has been shelved. Let’s keep it shelved.
I would not advocate for this to be made and agree it has a very small chance… But, if it were to move forward I don’t see why it couldn’t be written within the canon of the Kelvin universe and serve as a stand alone film. I think I would dislike it’s being disconnected from the rest of Trek even more than it being rated R…
Thinking about this in my mind I would actually love to see a Trek film written by both Tarantino and Nick Meyer and directed by David Cronenberg. Now that would be something, but also it will never happen because of all the egos involved and Trekkies would probably riot in front of Paramount if this happens.
it was never going to happen, another of QT’s fancies while he keep on his 10 movies and out schedule.
So a one off with Chris Pine playing Kirk that is a sequel to a piece of the action. But it isn’t canon or connected in any way to any specific Star Trek series or movie continuity. Not even in the Kelvin Timeline. All this proves to me is how little Paramount understands Star Trek. Like when they wanted the third reboot to be Guardians of the Galaxy because the script was too Star Trekkie.
I reckon the Star Trek ‘franchise’ easily lends itself to the idea of ‘multi-verse’ characters and storylines, so I wasn’t bothered about the notion of getting something that was deemed to be a separate, standalone entry from the usual ‘official’ Trek ‘universes/timelines’.
And I was also one of those who was originally keen on seeing what QT would come up with for his ‘bananas’ concept for a Star Trek movie, regardless of how hard-edged it might turn out.
BUT…on finding out that his intention would have basically given us nothing more than a brash, bigger-budgeted rehash of the ‘A Piece Of The Action’ episode, then I’m glad we dodged that particular bullet to be honest!
While I thought that it was a ‘silly but fun’ episode when I was much younger, ‘APOA’ is actually something I would exclude from a TOS rewatch nowadays, due to the ridiculousness of it all. I much prefer the somewhat similiar ‘Patterns Of Force’ storyline for that kind of ‘Earth-based’ scenario on another planet….but I wouldn’t want a movie based on that either.
I’d hoped that QT had come up with something a bit more original concerning exploring strange new worlds using the Star Trek brand, but this certainly wasn’t it sadly.
“I reckon the Star Trek ‘franchise’ easily lends itself to the idea of ‘multi-verse’ characters…”
I couldn’t agree less. Star Trek is still one of the very few franchises that is still a more or less coherent universe. Apart from the MU, which is a plot device not a reboot, and the KT, which was developed directly out of the Primeverse, which was gratefully fully acknowledged on PIC, Trek is an almost 60-year-old franchise that is still an ongoing universe. There are visual breaches and tiny little fractions in the fabric mostly caused by forgettable one-liners (Vulcan has no moon, Klingons have no devil, warp 10 impossible etc) But all in all, it is one continuity with a clearly defined cinematic side pocket.
Compared to the countless incarnations of comic book characters caused by constant mindless rebooting, Trek is a shining example of unity in diversity.
That ship sailed with LOWER DECKS; tickets for the passage were on sale with some of Discovery, too.
Hold on, not based on The Mirror universe? That’s shocking. I would think the Mirror universe would allow Tarantino too be as bloody and gory as humanly possible.
Yeah, the Mirror Universe was made for QT. Kinda surprised no one mentioned it to him….
HIs comments on not understanding the idea of parallel universes clearly shows he wouldn’t even know the difference.
Either that or his movie outings clearly illustrates that he may actually believe his reality IS the mirror universe. Maybe unkilling Sharon Tate is what causes the Mirror Universe to come into fruition just like Edith Keeler…
OMG: What if her unborn child became the first Terran Emperor…
QT crafts endless conversations in which characters say painfully little. Imagine:
INT. USS ENTERPRISE – BRIDGE
Kirk and Spock gaze into the viewscreen filled with a lush green world’s image.
Kirk: I think we should beam down to that planet.
Spock: Come again?
Kirk: I think we should beam down to that planet.
Spock: You think we should beam down to that planet?
Kirk: Yes, I think we should beam down to that planet.
Spock: You want to beam down to THAT planet?
Kirk: Yes, you and me on that planet.
Spock: You want. To beam down. To that planet?
Kirk: Yes Spock, I want to beam down to that planet!
Spock: Why do you want to beam down to that planet?
Kirk: Why shouldn’t I beam down to that planet?
Spock: Beaming down to that planet isn’t something you should do!
Of course, QT would put in more profanity, but you get the idea.
His scripts are not that repititous, check ‘django’ or ‘inglorious….’
No thanks. After the repititous snoozefest that is “Death Proof” I’ve passed on QT.
The funny thing is if you add a laugh track to this, I can imagine Jerry and George having this same conversation on Seinfeld. ;)
I wouldn’t be that interested to see his Star Trek movie, but… I still wouldn’t mind seeing Tarantino make a 1930s gangster movie. You could even have time travel too, if you really wanted it. You don’t need Star Trek to do those things. Just make an original.
I feel like I spent a lot more time on my spec script than QT did on fleshing out his idea. It feels the only way it could be good Trek is if it is more like that episode of TNG where Picard was undercover. And… “But we’ve seen that!”
What I find odd is while I was watching STAR TREK as it first aired in the 1960s, the production was revelling in its war stories about its battles against NBC censorship behind its smokescreen of STANDARDS AND PRACTICES. However, mention QT making STAR TREK, and suddenly fans are falling all over themselves to rush the bullhorn and blaringly reveal to the world the secret prudes they’ve been all along, as they lay laurels at NBC’s censorship and S&P’s feet.