Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie, explained

Paramount confirmed this week that ‘WandaVision’ director Matt Shakman will go into production on a new ‘Star Trek’ movie later this year with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho and Simon Pegg reprising their roles. for a fourth lap on the big screen. For Quentin Tarantino fans, the news is the latest reminder that the Oscar-winning actor’s “Stark Trek” movie is still dead. At least for now.

Tarantino fans were sent into a frenzy in late 2017 after it was reported that Paramount and “Star Trek” producer JJ Abrams loved Tarantino’s pitch for a new “Star Trek” movie and were assembling a writers room to flesh out the idea. Tarantino eventually teamed up with “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark L. Smith, who was tasked with writing a “Star Trek” movie script based on Tarantino’s idea while Tarantino was busy finishing up the post- production and to tour the world for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. .”

Smith revealed on the “Tough Screenplay” podcast in August 2021 that JJ Abrams’ production company Bad Robot phoned him on Tarantino’s behalf.

“They just called me and said, ‘Hey, are you in? Do you want to go? Quentin wants to hook up. And I said, ‘Yeah,'” the screenwriter said. “And that was the first day I met Quentin, in the room and he’s reading a scene that he wrote and it was that scene awesome, cool gangster guy, and he plays it both ways. I told him, I was so mad I didn’t save it on my phone. That would be so valuable. It was amazing.”

Tarantino intended to bring a “Pulp Fiction” vibe to “Star Trek” with an idea that was a largely earthly story set in a 1930s gangster setting. Tarantino’s pitch appears to be inspired by “A Piece of the Action”, the 17th episode of the second season of “Star Trek: The Original Series”. The episode, which aired in 1968, followed the Enterprise team as they visited a planet with an Earth-like 1920s gangster culture.

Smith said “Tough Screenplay” that the scriptwriting process began almost immediately after he agreed to work with Tarantino, adding, “I would hang out at his house one night and we would watch old gangster movies. We sat there for hours… We just rested watching gangster movies, laughing at the bad dialogue, but talking about how it would carry over to what we wanted to do.

According to Smith, Tarantino’s “Star Trek” idea was “really crazy” and felt like “his own very cool episode”. The plot included “a little time travel” and “a lot of fun” with Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk. Tarantino fans expected the director to go all out for Pine given Tarantino’s outspoken love for the actor. Tarantino called Pine with “Unstoppable” one of his favorite action movies, and he had nothing but praise for Pine’s performance as Kirk in the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot.

“I thought Chris Pine did a fantastic job, not just playing Captain Kirk, but playing William Shatner’s captain — he’s William Shatner,” Tarantino said. MTV. “He’s not just another guy, he’s William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. And Zachary Quinto is literally Leonard Nimoy’s – because they both have the same scene together – he’s his Spock. They fucking nail it. They just nail it.

Tarantino’s “Star Trek” was widely considered R-rated, although this was never confirmed. Fans expected the R rating given the graphic nature of Tarantino’s films. It was also never confirmed that Tarantino would direct the script himself. Tarantino has claimed he’s retiring from feature filmmaking after his 10th directing effort, which means he only has one movie left to make, after “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Fans have wondered whether or not Tarantino would want an IP-based movie like “Star Trek” to be his callback.

Tarantino revealed to Consequence of sound in December 2019 that he was “stepping away” from directing the movie “Trek.” A knockout blow came in January 2020 when Tarantino confirmed“I think they could make this movie, but I don’t think I’m going to make it. It’s a good idea. They definitely should and I’ll be happy to come in and give them some notes on the first rough cut.

After Justin Lin’s 2016 entry “Star Trek Beyond” disappointed at the box office with less than $400 million worldwide, Paramount put a pause on the film franchise as it considered what to do next. . Tarantino and Smith’s script was one of three potential “Star Trek” films in development at the same time. “Fargo” and “Legion” creator Noah Hawley was working on his own “Star Trek” movie that was expected to feature a new cast, while Paramount was also developing a more traditional sequel to “Beyond” with the same cast. Filmmaker SJ Clarkson has been attached to this third “Trek” idea for some time.

The “Star Trek” announcement this week confirmed that a “Beyond” sequel with the returning cast has officially launched. Paramount announced in July 2021 that Shakman had been hired to direct a new “Star Trek” movie, the casting of which was unclear at the time. Shakman is a prolific television director whose credits include “WandaVision”, “Six Feet Under”, “House”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “Game of Thrones” and “Succession”. He has only directed one feature, 2015’s independent “Cut Bank” starring Liam Hemsworth and Billy Bob Thornton.

As reported by Variety, Paramount conducted market research to determine if there was still public interest in Chris Pine and the 2009 reboot cast given the long wait between “Beyond” and a new “Trek” movie. Insiders said studio executives determined there was still a lasting public enthusiasm for Pine, Quinto and the rest of the cast, which made the studio feel comfortable moving forward. forward with their return.

One person most likely relieved that Paramount is moving forward with a “Star Trek” movie without Tarantino is Rod Roddenberry, son of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment. Roddenberry, who is executive producer of several “Star Trek” series on Paramount Plus (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Star Trek: Picard,” “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” etc.), said Forbes in September 2021 that he had mixed feelings about Tarantino’s entry into the “Star Trek” fold.

“I struggle with that because I’m pretty myopic with how I see ‘Star Trek,'” Roddenberry said when asked about Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ idea. “I mentioned that I grew up with fans coming to tell me how ‘Star Trek’ inspired them and gave them hope for the future. That’s the optimism and the message that he contains that make “Star Trek” what it was. I really believe that. If you make a “Star Trek”, it’s only action; it’s not “Star Trek”, in my opinion. opinion. That’s what makes it different from ‘Star Wars’, and I love ‘Star Wars’, but they can both co-exist. And I love Tarantino’s work and the kind of movies he makes . I try to have an open mind.”

Roddenberry continued, “I would be curious to read a script on his take. I don’t think you can say we’re going to do a “Reservoir Dog-Star Trek”. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t work for me, but he’s a fan, and I think as a fan he probably understands to some degree that “Star Trek” has to have some of that message.

Production on the new “Star Trek” movie without Tarantino will begin later this year.

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