Screenwriter Talks About Writers Room For Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ And His Passion For The Movie

In the last week, screenwriter Lindsey Beer has been talking about her work on the latest Paramount Pictures Kelvin timeline follow-up to Star Trek Beyond but it turns out that isn’t the only Star Trek feature film she has worked on in the last few years. She’s now revealing some details of what it was like working with Quentin Tarantino on his proposed (and now defunct) R-rated Star Trek movie.

Inside Tarantino’s Trek writer’s room

In late 2017 Quentin Tarantino pitched an idea for a Star Trek movie to producer J.J. Abrams and Paramount jumped at the opportunity to work with the Oscar-winning writer/director. The film would have been R-rated and separate from Paramount’s planned “Star Trek 4” followup to Star Trek Beyond (which at that time was still the version that had Chris Hemsworth returning as George Kirk). In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Lindsey Beer reveals what it was like in Tarantino’s Trek writers room:

We got in there and he started with, “So what are your guys’ ideas for a movie?” and I think I went first. So he listened to us patiently and just kind of nodded his head, and then he took out his notebook and started talking for 20 minutes with lines of dialogue and passionate ideas that he’d already written. It wasn’t really a story yet; they were just random thoughts he had on a movie, but it was so passionate and so wonderful. And I laughed to myself and thought, “Well, why didn’t we start with that?”

Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) was eventually tapped as screenwriter. In the summer of 2019 Tarantino said Smith delivered a “cool” script, describing it as “Pulp Fiction in space.” However, by the end of the year, Tarantino said he was “steering away” from the project, which eventually fizzled out without the auteur’s direct involvement. Smith later revealed the film would include James T. Kirk as well as other familiar characters, and it would involve “gangsters.”

Spock and Kirk get their gagster lean on in “A Piece of the Action”

As for Lindsey Beer, she got some high praise from Tarantino for being “really good” in that writers’ room, and the experience actually led to her involvement in what is the latest Star Trek 4 project. Beer tells THR:

So that room was also the beginning of a very strong relationship with Bad Robot, and I’ve been brought in a few times on different iterations of Trek, most recently on Star Trek 4.

It’s curious that Beer mentions how she was brought in to work on multiple iterations of Trek, so it seems possible she may have also been involved in the Noah Hawley Star Trek project which was shelved in 2020. Beer was first revealed to be involved with the latest Star Trek 4 project in 2021 when Matt Shakman was tapped to direct. She later left to write and direct the new Paramount+ movie Pet Semetary: Bloodlines. Other screenwriters have been brought in since to work on subsequent drafts based on an idea that came from J.J. Abrams. Paramount is reportedly interested in fine-tuning the latest draft to get Star Trek 4 into pre-production soon.

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Love Tarantino’s work- but this sounds like a bullet dodged.

Agreed. Tarantino strikes me as the classic ADHD kid. If he’s hyperfocused on your project, he’s great. If you lose him, even a little bit, it’s chaos.

I agree. To me, it would just feel way too gimmicky.

Agree. Tarantino is obviously talented but he is totally the wrong person for Trek

Someday I hope that the Tarantino Trek script either gets published somehow or leaked into the internet so we can see what it actually was. All we know publicly is that it was his riff on “A Piece of the Action”.

Probably want to bring a ton of imagination to that read, because we’ll probably have to add our own soundtrack. Like if we see the crew marching down the corridor after arming themselves, play the theme to PETER GUNN or SHAFT in your head, or the theme to SHAFT IN AFRICA (‘Are You Man Enough’) for Chekov facing down some baddies. (I would probably include ‘mama told me not to come’ in this playlist, but that has already been ruined forever, getting used — for absolutely no gain or apparent purpose — in the trailer for Walter Hill‘s/Jack Sholder’s SUPERNOVA.)

We can save ‘come on eileen’ for a GR biopic featuring scenes with his first wife.

Yeah, if you read some of Tarantino’s scripts they probably sound silly on paper, but it’s his STYLE that brings so much to his pictures.

Bring in Tarantino for ST4, also Stewart (so he get his final Trek movie). = Generations Redux!

Picard goes out with tommy gun blazing, roaring, “it was … FUN!”

(then, when shot in the genitals, quietly utters, ‘oh my.’

I wish we could upvote here.

Unrelated, but did Takei steal “oh my” for his catchphrase, or was he using it before Generations.

Honestly dunno. I think I only first remember him saying it on something like FAMILY GUY, so it could be a deliberate steal ..

Take the Tarantino script and film it as a Strange New Worlds two-parter!

I can actually see Pelia dropping F bombs like Samuel L Jackson or Dr. T’Ana. 🤬

Well he did a CSI (and even directed it) so maybe he could adapt it for a SNW 2 parter and direct too, (wouldn’t mess up his 10 and done filmography plan)

and an episode of ‘ER’

Given they have song and dance eps and cartoon character eps, sure, why not?

if Tarantino doesn’t direct it, his contributions to the screenplay would probably be greatly watered down.

Tarantino never wrote a Trek screenplay. He came to Paramount with a pitch, and the studio hired another writer (Mark L. Smith) to write a screenplay based on that.

No, they both wrote it. Tarantino picked Mark L. Smith to flesh out his pitch. It sounds like Smith would work on the script himself, and Tarantino would go over what he did and further flesh it out with his own rewrites.

Smith talked about it a couple years ago. I think this interview with Smith is about the most information that’s come out about Tarantino’s Star Trek. And Smith talks about Tarantino rewriting his scenes and reading them to him.

I still want this film

I would love to see Shatner return as Kirk in this very interesting project.


Paramount — let her direct it!

Why? She’s a writer.

She is also a director. She was announced as directing the next Trek movie until it imploded (again).

I think you’re mixing her up with the very talented and versatille Ms. Clarkson, who preceded Shankman on XIV. While directing PET SEM prequel now, that is her first feature (as I understand things.)

Ah, thank you for the correction, k. Appreciated.

Nope. She’s both

Random thoughts.
Pulp Fiction in Space.

All you need to know why the studio shelved this.

It probably would’ve been an utter disaster but a fun disaster. If nothing else it at least had to be better than STID or NEM.

This was also the last movie I stopped buying into Paramount’s trolling and keep in mind this thing was announced six years ago already.

Six years later… still no movie of any kind. 😴

But still more trolling…

Yep, sadly true.

Actually I think they should try to get David Cronenberg to do a Trek movie since he is already involved in the franchise in an acting capacity. I would love to see his approach to some Trek body horror, maybe his version of the borg or the conspiracy aliens or a character(s) transforming into something like in the TNG episode Genesis.

Absolutely! Cronenberg already has experience with transporter accidents, see The Fly!!

I was just now thinking how Cronenberg would have approached that transporter accident scene from The Motion Picture.

All you have to do is leave out that terrible line reading ‘what we got back didn’t live long … fortunately’ and go from there. Ultimately, the fact that two life forms can suffer along together successfully helps give evidence to v’ger to acknowledge that there are more things on space and earth than fit its cosmotheology and so it spares Earth.

Great minds think alike!

He’s an interesting pick for director. I’m a fan of his, so it would definitely be different.

Mark Altman keeps saying that Paramount has a script for the next movie about the Romulan War or post First Contact. Hope it is true!

Speaking of once-reliable sources …

Why is he not a reliable source? This site frequently sites Altman as a reliable source for articles.

He has been getting noticed for seemingly intentional errors — as in, he should know better! — by the Facttrek guys for awhile now. Seems like to keep a podcast audience some folks think it is necessary to stoke rumor mills and worse. It’s quite disappointing to me.

I think you are referring to his panel on Star Trek: The Beginning, which was an almost green lit script. I listen to Mark’s podcasts but haven’t heard anything about a post first contact movie. He was probably joking.

If you listen to this week’s episode (interview with Terry Matalas and Todd Stashwick) intro banter, he talks about it extensively. He also mentioned it a few weeks ago. He definitely isn’t joking.

A post First Contact movie actually sounds original and interesting with new characters and thinking outside the box for a change.

No way it’s going to happen lol.

The way that Paramount churns through Trek movie scripts and personnel, you are probably right. It could be very interesting though.

Any Trek movie (outside of something fan made or produced directly for streaming) is going to focus on a recognisable time period and established characters. That’s why the reboots featured Kirk, Spock and McCoy. For a general audience they are the recognisable names.

I agree this is likely, BUT – a one off film that is “attached” to Star Trek but which basically is it’s own story, which could be filled with unaffiliated international cast could upend the trend right now, which is that “known” IPs are failing at the box office.

That’s why I said it’s not going to happen lol.

But trying to get non Trekkies to care about Star Trek to see in theaters is like trying to get teenagers to care about taxes, it just puts too many people off. And no one talks about the JJ verse movies today unless they are Trekkies.

Recognizable still doesn’t sell tickets if they are not a big draw outside the fanbase and they aren’t. The franchise is 57 years old and the average person still can’t name 3 characters of they never watched it.

And why I don’t care about the movies that much. It’s basically just formulaic action stuff with known characters vs super villains like comic book movies… but makes only a third of what those makes. They can have multiple Kirks and Picard in a multiverse movie battling Khan and the Borg, it will still mostly just be Trekkies who will care.

Make movies for actual fans again. Trying to appeal to the ‘masses’ just doesn’t work for Trek no matter what they do. At least not the level they want or we still wouldn’t be waiting just to get another movie seven years later. 🙄

“They can have multiple Kirks and Picard in a multiverse movie battling Khan and the Borg, it will still mostly just be Trekkies who will care.”

wow what a cool movie that’d be for the upcoming anniversary. Khan = cgi/deepfake Montalban tho. And Alice Krige returning as the queen, plus Shatner DF’d to Generations age. And have to throw in the klingons too, and time travel (obviously).

but yeah the general audience don’t care unless it manages to connect with them abit somehow (Trek IV, FC, ST09 – all time we at least know that)

It is odd how the time travel movies seem to be bigger hits with non or new fans. Kind of ironic since some fans complain there is too much time travel in Star Trek. I’m not a big time travel fan myself but most of the time travel stories are usually very good… except Picard season 2…like why? I think the first JJ verse movie is really really dumb but I like the idea behind it. But the movie was made for people who don’t believe in using their brains. Sadly a lot of the movies are really dumb though. Generations was the dumbest easily until JJ verse showed up.

Anyway I want to clarify and say I’m not against seeing legacy characters in another movie. I’m good with that since I like seeing them in the shows. I just don’t think non fans care at all and wish they could come up with something new and bold every once in awhile too. They been making the same plotline to these movies since Generations came out and the Enterprise has to stop a big bad guy from trying to blow something up or wipe out the Federation with some super weapon. And it’s usually another ship they have to take out. It’s the same plotline over and over again… just like comic book movies.

But a post First Contact movie actually sounds fresh and different that you can’t get on any of the shows right now while expanding canon in a new era. But it’ll probably be about some rouge Andorian/Vulcan/Bajoran/Tribble who wants to bring the Federation to it’s knees because they are really mad at it for something it did.

Can’t wait to not care. 😴

I haven’t listened to that one yet. I’ll check it out. I remember him briefly sort of mentioning it but I thought it was a joke.

I stand corrected. Just caught the episode. Interesting.

Would have loved to have seen it.

Hate Tarantino’s work,so I’m very glad this never saw the light of day.

Dodged a disruptor blast there, tbh.

this was never going to happen, just like QT fantasy to do a bond film with brosnan

In some other timeline there exists Casino Royale adapted/directed by Tarantino, set in the 60s with Brosnan (or maybe Clive Owen if Eon managed to convince Quentin that using Brosnan couldn’t work chronologically), Uma Thurman as Vesper, Christoph Waltz as Le Chiffe, SLJ as Felix, Patrick Stewart as M, Tim Roth Q, Mary Elizabeth Winsted as Moneypenny

With the way Owen seemed to often choose to work with interesting directors as much or more than he did good scripts (a trait he shared with Connery), he and QT might have been an excellent match, plus Owen would have made for an excellent Bond – just not a ‘rookie’ Bond, an idea that would have only worked with Cavill or maybe Worthington among those who were considered seriously.

I knew about Spielberg and Christopher Nolan wanting to direct Bond movies but didn’t actually know Tarantino wanted to direct one too. Can’t really see his version of Bond in my head though.

All you gotta do is open to the first page of Fleming’s novel. The words there would certainly be used verbatim in voice over, a la Scorsese’s way of opening THE COLOR OF MONEY.

It would be a direct adaptation of the book, not the weird (and to me, offensively stupid) expansion that Eon made about an overage brat who goes around killing supposed professionals to get leads off their cellphone records (even though pros would keep the most secret of info in their heads, not in their pocket.)

You can tell how awesome this would have been by how much the curmudgeons are bashing it.

ikr, when Tarantino Trek comes up there always seems to be LOADS of negative comments ‘thank god that didnt happen’ … ‘omg no! Tarantino wouldve been a disaster!’.. ‘no.just no’ etc.. when OBVIOUSLY a Quentin Tarantino scripted/directed Star Trek movie wouldve been an absolute MUST SEE. in fact it would probably be the MOST anticipated Trek movie ever! idk if some Trekkies are aware but Quentin Tarantino a film making LEGEND! on the scale of Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, or Spielberg. AT LEAST 2 of his movies (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) REDEFINED mainstream cinema and are considered ALL TIME FILM CLASSICS up there with the likes of Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Vertigo, The Godfather, Raiders, Blade Runner etc.

we should feel LUCKY a film maker of Tarantinos stature was suffiently interested to actually consider doing it (tbh im still abit mind blown it looked like it was going to happen a few years back now)

Bro if it was a ‘must see’ then Paramount could’ve still made it without him…six years ago. 😉

What stopped them? They didn’t even seem to care when he said he wasn’t interested in directing it either. Maybe just maybe because they thought the story was too much of a dog or just didn’t feel Star Trek enough. Those are at least possible right?

yeh Paramount obvs didnt dig it enough, or maybe he didnt want to direct it and they felt like well unless he actually directs and we can market it as ‘a QT Film’ its just not gonna fly (‘from the mind of QT’ with a co-writer/exec producer credit aint gonna cut it for a $100m gangster Trek movie)

If it was so ‘awesome’ Paramount could’ve still made the movie and used Tarantinos script even if he decided not to direct it. Instead they just moved on to another movie and writer.

They obviously didn’t think it would make a good movie since they could’ve still market it as a Tarantino story but passed.

And I was originally for the movie until he admitted he didn’t understand how a parallel universe worked in science fiction and that was a super red flag this guy could bleep things up badly. 😂🙄

Considering the lousy reviews Bloodlines is getting, we should be kicking Lindsey Beer to the curb as well.

Let the Kelvin timeline fizzle out, and instead make movies based on the current streaming series that revived Star Trek.

I’d love to see a film trilogy that involves characters from all Star Trek TV series. A mission so grand that it crosses time and space.

Put Archer on the bridge of Pike’s Enterprise.

I’d sooner see Archer put under the bridge that landed on Kirk in GEN.

I’m not adverse to a small-scale version of ‘characters from all series’ thing, but to do it like the JIHAD episode of TAS where you pull together just a few experts — but plus that up by drawing from different eras — to deal with a huge potential threat to galaxy. I’ve often wondered if that was the plan for the never-made Trek Imax film,where they had Meaney under contract for years in the 90s. Maybe it was him and an array of past guest stars dealing with whatever the threat was supposed to be, as a super economy pack version of what has turned into standard approach for MCU this century.

It shouldn’t be small scale, though. It should absolutely be a trilogy, or even a pentalogy.

Now would be a perfect time for a Star Trek movie that features actors from all the TV series, from the oldest (Star Trek: The Original Series) to the newest (Star Trek Strange New Worlds).

The studio could use the technology employed in The Mandalorian and Indiana Jones & The Dial of Destiny to rejuvenate the surviving cast members from TOS, so they could reprise alongside the cast from subsequent series but appear to be in their prime.

Same could be true of the cast from those subsequent series.

Imagine Archer, Kirk, Picard, Janeway, and Sisko from the first season of their respective series standing on the bridge of Pike’s Enterprise.

What I wouldn’t give to see this realized in animated form or even a graphic novel or something.

I am so glad this movie did not get made. I am not a Tarantino fan. Tried a couple movies didn’t like them. Didn’t like this style. Won’t try another one. But I’m so glad he didn’t screw up Star Trek. The one TOS episode with the gangsters is not one of my favorites.