‘Star Trek’ Writer: Tarantino’s ‘Really Wild’ Unmade Film Has Time Travel, ‘Awesome Gangster Scenes’

Screenwriter Mark L. Smith gave the most eye-opening look at Tarantino's "Star Trek" movie, which isn't happening at the moment.
"Star Trek" (2009)
"Star Trek"
Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Paramount is not moving forward with Quentin Tarantino’s much-hyped R-rated “Star Trek” movie, as it was confirmed last month that “WandaVision” director Matt Shakman has been tapped to helm the next space adventure in the film franchise. Will Tarantino’s “Star Trek” ever see the light of day? New details on the project from screenwriter Mark L. Smith will only get fans more hopeful. Tarantino brought in “The Revenant” writer to pen the script based on Tarantino’s original idea.

Smith revealed on the “Bulletproof Screenwriting” podcast (via Total Film) that J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot gave him a personal call on Tarantino’s behalf. “They just called me and said, ‘Hey, are you up for it? 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 this awesome cool gangster scene, and he’s acting it out and back and forth. I told him, I was so mad I didn’t record it on my phone. It would be so valuable. It was amazing.”

“Then just we started working,” Smith continued. “I would go hang out at his house one night and we would watch old gangster films. We were there for hours. … We were just kicking back watching gangster films, laughing at the bad dialogue, but talking about how it would bleed into what we wanted to do. Kirk’s in it, we’ve got him. All the characters are there. It would be those guys. I guess you would look at it like all the episodes of the show didn’t really connect. So this would be almost its own episode. A very cool episode. There’s a little time travel stuff going on. … It’s really wild.”

Smith already revealed last December that Tarantino’s “Star Trek” had “a lot of fun” with Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk. Such news was hardly a surprise, given that Tarantino once credited Pine’s performance as Captain Kirk as the reason he was interested in contributing to the new “Star Trek” film franchise that began with J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot. As the director once told MTV, “I thought Chris Pine did a fantastic job not just playing Capt. Kirk but playing William Shatner’s captain — he is William Shatner. He’s not just another guy, he’s William Shatner’s Capt. 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.”

Smith’s new reveal about a time travel element in Tarantino’s “Star Trek” also makes sense, as Deadline reported last August that Tarantino’s idea was for an earthbound 1930s gangster movie spin on the “Trek” franchise.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.