What is Quentin Tarantino up to?
For years, Quentin Tarantino has stated – nearly unequivocally – that he will make ten films, then retire (though he’s waffled on that number recently). Now, his way of counting films has been a bit fuzzy, but his eight films thus far are: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight. Currently in production is Helter Skelter, as his penultimate directorial outing.
And for Quentin Tarantino’s final feature film: Star Trek?
Deadline Hollywood just reported that Quentin Tarantino has just pitched a Star Trek story to Paramount, causing J.J. Abrams to assemble a writer’s room to figure out how to make this happen. What’s more, it looks like he may direct, with Abrams producing.
To be honest, I’m a little perplexed by this. Tarantino has never directed a film that’s a part of an existing franchise. He’s an auteur, after all. A tried and true writer-director, not having to deal with the constraints of a traditional studio system. Let alone a fifty-year production machine like Star Trek, and certainly not something so mainstream. However, he’s dipped his toes in two television franchises, directing episodes of CSI and ER because he’s loved them and wanted to tell some stories in those worlds. And they’re solid episodes of television! So while I’m puzzled by his choice, I’m really excited by the prospect.
But how will he approach Star Trek?
Because there’s precedence, I’m going to go with it. I hope Quentin Tarantino takes the reins from J.J. Abrams and makes a Star Trek movie. It might be absolutely bonkers. It could be rated-R. Will there be blood and brains everywhere? How many scalpings, guys in gimp suits, brutal murders, whippings, beatings, crazy ninja fights, or iconic dance scenes will there be?
Or maybe, just maybe, Tarantino will tap into something he loves about Star Trek. I don’t know exactly what that is, but I’m going to guess he’s not going to upend an entire franchise on a whim. He’s an artist, but he isn’t so megalomaniacal that he’ll just say, “I want to watch Kirk and Spock scalp a bunch of Klingons in as graphic a way as possible!”. Just because he normally does that, will he make it unwatchable and alienate millions of fans? No. In fact, his non-linear storytelling trademark will fit in wonderfully with a science fiction setting. His writing style, particularly his penchant for profanity, will have to be tamed. But he’s an auteur, right? Does that mean the only thing he does is curse? No!
Do you really think this will happen?
In all honesty, I doubt Tarantino will actually direct whatever this may turn into. It looks like he’s not writing it, and I have a hard time seeing him direct a film he hasn’t written. But I could be wrong. I do hope he’ll inject some of the unexpected into Star Trek. I’m a lifelong Star Trek fan (if you need convincing, I don’t have my Official Fan Club Card with me at the moment, but you can check out my reviews of The Original Series here on Ready Steady Cut or listen to my podcast, The Next Trek), and I’m always interesting in seeing where this long-running franchise will go.
Discovery has certainly been doing new and bold things with the franchise, introducing the first openly homosexual relationship, showing the first nudity, and pushing the boundaries of Star Trek profanity. Tarantino might just fit in with this bold new era in Star Trek history.
However he’s involved, I guarantee that Quentin Tarantino will take us all where no man has gone before.
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Tyler is a teacher, librarian and the Co-host of The Geek Card Check Podcast. He has been a Film Critic for Ready Steady Cut since 2018.