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Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek project would have been "the greatest Star Trek film," apparently

The screenwriter behind the project thinks that the movie would've been Thor: Ragnarok for the Trek-verse.

Star Trek
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie might be one of the classic “lost” science fiction movies: a premise created by the filmmaker that he’d direct that was rumored to be a bold new take on the franchise and potentially Trek’s first journey into R-rated territory. The project was abandoned, but now its screenwriter has been revealing some more details about it — and he’s teasing that it would have been “the greatest Star Trek film.” Big talk about something that might never happen…!

Admittedly, while screenwriter Mark L. Smith didn’t tell Collider any plot specifics about the project. joking, “I can’t say anything about the story. He would kill me,” he did say that the movie was intended to be “a hard R [rating]. It was going to be Pulp Fiction [level] violence. Not a lot of the language, we saved a couple things for just special characters to kind of drop that into the Star Trek world, but it was just really the edginess and the kind of Tarantino flair, man, that he was bringing to it. It would have been cool.”

Reportedly, the movie was intended to have “a little time travel stuff going on” and be set in a 1930s Earth setting, taking inspiration from the original series’ ‘A Piece of the Action’ episode, which saw Kirk and crew go undercover on a world inspired by old gangster movies.

"I liked it because I think it's different, but the way that [Thor:] Ragnarok changed things,” Smith explained about the idea. “[Ragnarok] was like suddenly it had a different feel for the Marvel stuff. It was like, ‘That's fun. That's different.’ And I guess Guardians [of the Galaxy] to some level, but it was just like a different vibe and that's what I thought that it could bring to Star Trek was just a different feel."

So, why didn’t the movie happen?

“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,” said Smith. “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.”

The project isn’t entirely dead, however; the screenplay exists, and Tarantino has previously said that he’s open to letting someone else direct while he offered notes. “I would love for it to happen,” Smith said. “It’s just one of those things 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.”


The first look at the last voyages of Star Trek: Discovery in season 5

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Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.

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