Ask me about Quentin Tarantino‘s abandoned Star Trek project, and you’ll be stuck in a conversation with me for quite some time, whether you like it or not. Now there’s further description of how it would’ve played out, and I’m even more annoyed it never happened.
Star Trek is a phenomenal franchise full of fun, fascinating worlds, and a surprising amount of nuance and thought-provoking themes. But, if there’s one thing the Star Trek timeline is missing, it’s an excess of violence and profanity. Enter, Quentin Tarantino.
Tarantino, one of the best directors of all time, was once lined up to helm the long-awaited Star Trek 4. Those plans fell through, sadly, and now screenwriter Mark L. Smith has told Collider what we could’ve won: “I would love for it to happen. It’s just one of those that I can’t ever see happening. But it would be the greatest Star Trek film, not for my writing, but just for what Tarantino was gonna do with it. It was just a balls-out kind of thing.”
Smith also revealed a new clue as to why the project never quite got off the ground, and it’s down to Tarantino’s own whims: “I wrote [the script], Quentin and I went back and forth, he was gonna do some stuff on it, and then he started worrying about the number, his kind of unofficial number of films.
“I remember we were talking, and he goes, ‘If I can just wrap my head around the idea that Star Trek could be my last movie, the last thing I ever do. Is this how I want to end it?’ And I think that was the bump he could never get across, so the script is still sitting there on his desk,” Smith added.
Tarantino’s idea involved taking inspiration from the classic episode of the original Star Trek series, titled ‘A Piece of the Action,’ in which Kirk, Spock, and Bones head to a planet very similar to Earth. The catch is, the inhabitants are actually aliens who have learned their way of life from 1930s America, so they carry guns and talk like mobsters. It’s a very fun episode of television, as you can imagine.
I have written at length about why this would have been a fantastic addition to the annals of Star Trek movie history, and there’s no doubting Tarantino’s Star Trek movie would’ve been incredible. I have made my peace with the fact it’ll never happen, but hearing about how wild it would’ve been, and the reasons for Tarantino cooling on the idea, do sting a little.
Alas, at least we have plenty to keep you occupied, like our list of the best Star Trek characters or the best Star Trek starships. You can also look ahead to things that are happening, like Star Trek Discovery season 5, or new movies like Avatar 3, if you fancy a different kind of sci-fi.