In late 2017, the long-delayed Star Trek 4 finally got a much-needed – and extremely unexpected – update when the news broke that Quentin Tarantino was working on a script for the movie. The Revenant‘s Mark L. Smith joined the legendary filmmaker on writing duties for what looked to be the Django Unchained helmer’s first blockbuster.
Talking to Collider (via SFFGazette.com) about his new movie The Boys in the Boat, Smith shared new insights into how unique the scrapped Star Trek movie could have been. As for why it didn’t happen, it comes down to Tarantino’s determination to release only 10 pictures before his career behind the camera ends!
“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,” Smith explained. “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.”
“I know he said a lot of nice things about it. I would love for it to happen,” the writer continued. “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.”
Tarantino plans to retire from filmmaking when he releases The Movie Critic but, when it came to Star Trek, it doesn’t sound like his approach to the franchise was the sort of popcorn entertainment seen in those first three movies led by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.
“I think his vision was just to go hard. It was a hard R. It was going to be some ‘Pulp Fiction’ violence,” Smith continued. “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 that Tarantino flair, man, that he was bringing to it. It would have been cool.”
“I liked it because I think it’s different, but the way that ‘Ragnarok’ changed things. It was like suddenly it had a different feel for the Marvel stuff. It was like, ‘That’s fun. That’s different,'” he concluded. “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.”
We’ve previously heard that this Star Trek movie took its cues from the 17th episode of Star Trek: The Original Series titled “A Piece of the Action.” That followed the Enterprise crew as they visited Earth during the 1920s when gangsters ruled cities like New York and Los Angeles. It’s unclear which actors and characters were going to appear.
Matt Shakman and Noah Hawley have both since been attached to a fourth Star Trek movie but the project seems to have largely stalled. In fact, based on comments from the previous cast, a full-blown reboot seems most likely.