When we first heard the rumors that Quentin Tarantino wanted to make a Star Trek movie, we didn’t take them all that seriously. But it looks like it’s actually happening, as Paramount has reportedly brought on a writer to pen the script for what will be the first R-rated Star Trek film.
According to Deadline, the studio has hired Mark L. Smith — who previously wrote The Revenant — to write the script for the film, which Tarantino himself plans on directing. Tarantino will also produce, alongside franchise steward J.J. Abrams, to whom the Pulp Fiction director first pitched his idea. Smith had previously participated in a writers room for the film along with Tarantino, comedian Megan Amram, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation writer Drew Pearce, and current Hollywood screenwriting “it girl” Lindsay Beer, who at the moment is attached to everything from Godzilla vs. Kong to the Barbie movie to the Kingkiller Chronicle adaptation to fleshing out Hasbro’s new cinematic universe.
As Deadline points out, Tarantino and Smith are a bit of an odd match. The cult favorite director is widely-known for his dialogue-heavy scripts, while Smith’s most notable cinematic contribution is a movie with hardly any dialogue, so it remains to be seen how well their styles will mesh. What is known, though, is that just because Tarantino is getting involved in a franchise for the first time, that doesn’t mean he’ll be toning down his signature — and very adult — style. Paramount has apparently promised Tarantino an R-rating for the film, which does seem to be in line with where the franchise is heading: Star Trek: Discovery made history recently by dropping the first F-bombs in the five-decade-old series’ history. And given that Star Trek Beyond likely lost money for the studio, or at best broke even, it makes sense that Paramount would want to boldly go where no Star Trek movie has gone before in their next entry. And since Logan and Deadpool have proved that previously family-friendly superhero franchises can successfully branch out into R-rated territory, there’s no reason to think the same strategy can’t work for Star Trek — especially with the involvement of Tarantino, who’s essentially a franchise in himself.
It remains to be seen how the larger Star Trek fandom will embrace a Tarantino-led film, but considering they haven’t exactly been head 0ver heels about the Kelvin-timeline, it’s at least worth seeing how this strange experiment plays out.