There was a lot of hype a few years ago about Quentin Tarantino writing a Star Trek movie. Though, it stands to reason that the people most excited by a Star Trek in which Kirk says “mother fucker” probably weren’t Star Trek diehards. Nevertheless, this happens with almost any of Tarantino’s offhand remarks. In the past, he’s also expressed interest in directing a Friday The 13th, which, honestly, sounds more his speed, what with the violence, sex, and cursing. Unfortunately, the 10-film career trajectory he’s married to got in the way of jumping into the I.P.-heavy galaxy of franchise filmmaking.
Still, the world of entertainment will always have a soft spot for one of our most celebrated auteurs taking a crack at someone else’s property. Speaking to TotalFilm’s Bulletproof Screenwriting podcast, writer Mark L. Smith, who Tarantino tapped to co-write his Star Trek movie, dropped a few tidbits about working on the movie that will never happen. “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,’” Smith 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.”
It’s not hard to imagine a Star Trek-inspired “awesome gangster scene.” Tarantino going back and forth with himself saying, “’I’m Spock, see?’ ‘Yeah, well, I’m Captain Kirk, and I’m gonna make these Klingons an offer they can’t refuse.’” It would’ve been great. Obviously, that’s just me daydreaming about Spock doing an Edward G. Robinson impression. We got a real look at Star Trek gangsters in the 1968 episode “A Piece Of The Action” and again in the Next Generation episode “The Big Goodbye.”
But apparently, working on the movie was a blast, as you might imagine this sort of thing being.
“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.”
A movie about Tarantino and Smith failing to make this Star Trek sounds more interesting than Tarantino’s Star Trek. Maybe someone should start work on a Jordorowski’s Dune about the saga. Tarantino’s Star Trek sounds like a movie people would see.