Once upon a time, there was a wild, albeit slim chance that Quentin Tarantino could have helmed a Star Trek movie. I personally never entertained the possibility that Tarantino would actually finish off his career with a Star Trek movie, and the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director confirmed as much earlier this year, while still holding out hope that it will actually get made. “I think they might make that movie,” Tarantino said, “but I just don’t think I’m going to direct it. It’s a good idea. They should definitely do it and I’ll be happy to come in and give them some notes on the first rough cut.“
Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) penned the screenplay for the Star Trek project based on a concept by Quentin Tarantino, and he recently spoke with SFX Magazine to drop a few details. “I wrote a Star Trek with Tarantino,” Smith said, “and that was a sci-fi script on which I could have fun and lean into some bigger, broader things.” We still don’t know much about the project, but it was said to be based on an episode of the Original Series and would largely have taken place on Earth in a ’30s gangster setting (think A Piece of the Action). As far as whether the project would have revolved around Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, there have been rumours pointing in both directions, but Smith revealed that Kirk would have been featured in the film and that Tarantino and himself had “so much fun” writing the character.
Kirk is always just so fun. Tarantino and I had so much fun with him, because Kirk is just William Shatner, y’know? It’s like: you’re not sure who is who, so you can kinda lean into that! Because you watch Chris Pine and he’s playing Kirk, but he’s also playing William Shatner a touch.
Mark L. Smith added that he’s always been “more of a casual fan” of the Star Trek franchise, but that he was drawn to its “deep” characters. “The relationships all felt real, and something I could relate to,” Smith said. The other Star Trek projects that have been in the works don’t seem to be faring any better than Tarantino’s version, as Noah Hawley (Fargo) recently said that his planned Star Trek film is not in his immediate future. Although Mark L. Smith may not be heading to the final frontier anytime soon, he does have a science fiction film just over the horizon as he wrote George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, which is slated to hit Netflix on December 23rd.