When Quentin Tarantino announced he wanted to make a Star Trek movie, we knew it wasn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill adventure. What we didn’t know was quite how ‘out there’ Tarantino planned to go with the science fiction movie, and it seems he really did plan on going where no man had gone before. According to screenwriter Mark L. Smith, who was helping Tarantino pen the movie’s script, the film would have involved gangsters in outer space.
“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,” Smith told Bulletproof Screenwriting. “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.”
It was rumoured that Tarantino wanted to adapt the original series episode ‘A Piece of the Action’. This infamous episode saw Kirk, and the crew of the USS Enterprise, discover a planet where society was based entirely on 1920s gangster stereotypes. Smith’s comments about Tarantino and him watching gangster movies suggests that these rumours were probably true.
Smith went on to say that he and Tarantino spent hours watching gangster films and discussing how they’d fuse Star Trek and crime cliches. “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,” he explained. “Kirk’s in it. We’ve got him. All the characters are there.”
He finished by saying that the film would have been “wild”, involve time travel, and be similar to those episodes of Star Trek that “didn’t quite connect” with the wider series.
Unfortunately, Tarantino’s Trek wasn’t meant to be. Problems with the production meant the movie never really got off the ground. Pity that.