Apparently, the Star Trek franchise could boldly go where it has never gone before: the mind of Quentin Tarantino.
Yahoo!, Deadline and Rotten Tomatoes are among some of the orgs that have reported that Tarantino pitched a Star Trek movie, and that both Paramount and J.J. Abrams bought into the idea – as well as to the Tarantino condition that the movie must be R-rated, because… Well… Duh!
Patrick Stewart, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (also reported in Nerdist), said that he wants to work with Tarantino, and would love the opportunity to play Picard in a Tarantino-directed Star Trek movie, provided there was room for him in the script.
Here is the full quote from THR:
Patrick Stewart: “But one of my dreams is to work with Tarantino. I admire his work so much, and to be in a Tarantino film would give me so much satisfaction. So, if he is going to direct something to do with Star Trek and there was the possibility of dear old Jean-Luc showing up again and doing that for Mr Tarantino, I would embrace it.”
Deadline’s report suggests that “The Revenant’s” Mark L. Smith is the leading prospect to write the script, though there are several well-known writers all vying for the job.
Some scribes have pointed to Tarantino’s apparent adoration for past Star Trek episodes, namely the The Next Generation episode, Yesterday’s Enterprise, and classic Star Trek episode, The City on the Edge of Tomorrow, suggesting that these could be the plot basis for a Tarantino Star Trek.
Having a director reproduce a past tv show episode into a full-length motion picture is not out of the norm, as Michael Mann’s movie adaptation of “Miami Vice,” which featured Colin Farrel and Jamie Foxx, was basically a modern movie version of season one’s episode, Smuggler’s Blues, from the classic 1980s tv show, which Mann developed.
Both of the aforementioned Star Trek episodes are considered two of the best in the history of the franchise, and excellent science fiction stories.
However, the notion that either are, or could be, the plot basis for a Tarantino Star Trek is pure speculation.
In reading different published stories about Tarantino potentially making a Star Trek movie, I have to say that some of the comments from fans show there is a strong conflict about a Tarantino Star Trek.
The conflict aside, many have been funny.
For example, one fan wrote in a comment section, “Make it not so,” while another responded directly underneath, “No. MAKE IT SO!! Sooooo MAKE IT SO!!!”
Another person wrote, “There are motherfucking Tribbles on the bridge!”
The comments from fans opposed to and supportive of the Tarantino Star Trek, and my own love for the Star Trek franchise, which started when I was a young boy in the early 1980s, has me wondering, “What would a Star Trek movie by Quentin Tarantino be like?” And “How exactly do I feel about a Tarantino Star Trek movie? (or put another way – am I opposed to the idea as some hard-core Trekkie seem to be?)?”
To answer the second question, which is easy: I have no objection to a Tarantino Star Trek.
Because I have no objection to changes that have been made to other tv shows I’ve enjoyed, or movie remakes from popular original films, provided they are done well.
At the end of the day, my opinion about a tv show or movie (original or remake) is based on whether or not it is entertaining – which comes down to story, acting, and production.
I have often referenced the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, and of the many character and story changes (including but not limited to the large number of women who assumed parts originally played by men in the classic series) that made it one of best science fiction series ever.
Doctor Who also recently broke with (could it be 5 decades?) tradition and cast Jodi Whittaker as the first woman to play The Doctor, though her success or failure in the role is TBD.
The answer to the first question is a somewhat complicated creative exercise, but a fun one, to be sure.
In a unique way, Tarantino has become a master of roller-coaster suspense and creative story-telling, in addition to mind-bending violence. Tension rises, falls, and then accelerates back up – creating a crescendo of tension that is only resolved by an intense display of gore. The opening chapter in Inglourious Basterds is a great illustration of this.
What’s more, Tarantino uses many cinematic styles to inject layers of humor, as well as uniqueness to his films.
This can only mean that anything you have really known about the Star Trek franchise can be thrown out the window.
While there will need to be some core elements preserved (one would think), there is a good chance that the next Star Trek will be monstrously unique in ways that we can only imagine.
I think this includes stepping away from the cast who have done the last few Star Trek movies – though I have no inside information on this. Never the less, just sit and imagine Brad Pitt as Captain Kirk.
That said- it is too simple to see the movie opening with “Chapter One: Once Upon A Time On Kronos… The Klingon Homeworld…” Though I would smile a mile wide if that happened.
Got thoughts on how Tarantino will re-make Star Trek?
Maybe how to take a particular Star Trek episode and Tarantinoize it?
Share in the comments section below. In the meantime, I’ll give some thought to this as well… And perhaps write something up over the coming weeks…
This is not an original thought, but in watching my cousin’s recent Facebook discussion about the age old argument (Star Wars vs. Star Trek), I did openly wonder why no Star Trek series was ever created to cover the Eugenics Wars.
For those who may not be aware or for those who have forgotten, the Eugenics Wars would cover the time in Star Trek’s version of Earth history when scientists created a breed of super-humans using genetic engineering, only to have these new stronger, more ruthless, intelligent and ambitious people try to conquer the world. The character of Khan (From the original series episode Space Seed, the motion picture Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and the recent motion picture Star Trek: Into Darkness) was said to have taken over 1/3rd of the planet Earth before being sent into exile.
In my mind, the story-line would go from the scientific development of the super-humans (mixing in some great morality lessons with our current scientific endeavors), evolve through the first wars, followed by what I would consider an intriguing element: a period of time when the scientific achievements of humanity actually reach an all-time high. This would be followed by discontent, a growing rebellion and ultimately, end the series with Khan and his group placed into permanent exile (their exile not recorded in history to ease the strain of war-weary people across the planet).
I know there are books about the Eugenics Wars (The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh). There also was a What Culture article about this idea written back in June (Star Trek: 10 Reasons The Eugenics War Would Make A Quality TV Series.
The story, in my opinion, is very timely given our fascination with wearable technology, medical research, health and scientific discovery. It opens all kinds of questions about the moral uses of science. And morality and ethics is at the core of most of the Star Trek stories (I still remember Pam Cote talking about Star Trek as a series of morality plays in English class at CUA).
I’d be curious to hear what others think about this. Is a Star Trek series around the Eugenics Wars a creative idea? Is it something that needs to be developed?