Quentin Tarantino may never give the woman who birthed him an “Elvis Cadillac,” but he had planned to gift the rest of us with the most “gangster” version of Star Trek the world has ever seen. At least that’s what The Revenant screenwriter Mark L. Smith, who Tarantino tapped to pen his idea for a new cinematic Star Trek voyage, says.
As IndieWire reports, Smith was recently asked about what is currently known as the “Untitled Quentin Tarantino Star Trek Project” while a guest on the “Bulletproof Screenwriting” podcast. Smith explained that it was Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams’ company, who contacted him about the project—though 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.’ 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.”
One can only imagine that Tarantino lapped up every bit of Smith’s high praise for the idea, which the two then began working on. As Smith continued:
“Then just we started working. 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.”
Tarantino has made no secret that he’s a major fan of Chris Pine and his version of Captain Kirk in particular. In 2020, while appearing on The Ringer’s “Rewatchables” podcast, QT called Pine his favorite young actor working today—“hands down.”
As for whether or not we’ll ever have the chance to see this totally gangster Star Trek of Tarantino’s imagining: Probably not. In July, it was confirmed that Matt Shakman—director of WandaVision and, more importantly, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s “The Nightman Cometh” episode—will be standing behind the camera on the next Star Trek movie. But hey, there’s (presumably) nothing stopping QT from publishing the script as his next novel.