A more vicious Star Trek movie was almost completed, but Quentin Tarantino decided against it because he didn’t want it to be his final project. Now, writer Mark L. Smith is speaking out about Tarantino’s reluctance to helm the fourth movie in the series, which began with J.J. Abrams’ 2019 remake. In an interview with Collider, Smith said, “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. 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?’”
Smith added, “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. It’s just one of those 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.” Following ten movies, Tarantino has been vocal about his desire to go away from filmmaking, with The Movie Critic perhaps being his final project. Smith pointed out that Tarantino’s adaptation of Star Trek would have received a “Hard R” rating.
“I think his vision was just to go hard. It was a hard R. It was going to be some Pulp Fiction violence,” Smith stated. “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.”
When it was revealed in 2016 that Paramount Pictures, Skydance, and Bad Robot would be working together on a fourth Star Trek movie before Star Trek: Beyond was released, there was talk of a fourth movie in the works. When it was revealed that the filmmaker had a concept for the upcoming film, Tarantino’s participation in the franchise was made public later that year. Additionally, reports stated that Tarantino insisted on the movie being labeled R, something Smith corroborated in an earlier interview. Smith claimed that Tarantino’s idea of Star Trek would have revolutionized the franchise, although there are few chances that it will ever be implemented.
“I liked it because I think it’s different, but the way that [Thor] Ragnarok changed things. It was like suddenly it had a different feel for the Marvel stuff,” he said. “It was like, ‘That’s fun. That’s different.’ 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.”